Agilisaurus (Agile lizard)
Agilisaurus, also known as “Agile lizard,” was named by paleontologist Peng Guangzhou in 1990. This herbivorous dinosaur lived during the Late Jurasic period, approximately 169-159 million years ago. Agilisaurus was a Euornithopod, estimated to measure between 1.2-1.7 meters in length. Agilisaurus fossil remains were found in China, Sichuan Province, shedding light on the ancient ecosystems of this region and it is offering valuable insights into the prehistoric world and the evolution of Euornithopods.
Peng Guangzhou – 1990
Estimated 1.2-1.7 meters long
A. louderbacki (type)
Late Jurassic, 169-159 million years ago
Agilisaurus (/,aedZI’so:r@ the lizard’) is a genus of ornithischian dinosaurs that lived in the Middle Jurassic Period of what is today east Asia. It was 3.5-4 feet (1.2-1.7 meters) in length, with a height of 2 feet (0.6 meters) and 40 kg of weight. It was a tiny herbivore that was approximately two metres (6.5 feet) in length and had a beak-like structure at the edges of both its lower and upper jaws to assist in harvesting plants.
It is named in honor of The Dr. George Louderback, an American geologist who was the first to discover dinosaur fossils found in the Sichuan Province of China in 1915. The holotype that is the only specimen known, came to light in 1984 as part of the building of the Zigong Dinosaur Museum.
A single skeleton that is complete from A. Louderbacki has become recognized by scientists as being one of the complete ornithishian small skulls ever discovered. The skeleton of Agilisaurus was discovered as part of the construction of Zigong Dinosaur Museum, which houses a number of dinosaurs found in Dashanpu, the most famous Quarry in the vicinity of Zigong located within the Chinese province of Sichuan and Sichuan.
It was initially placed in the family Fabrosauridae, but this is no longer believed to be valid by the majority of paleontologists. Recent studies have shown it to be the fundamental part of group Euornithopoda, which comprises the ornithopods with more origins from those belonging to the family Heterodontosauridae.
It is found in various other locations in addition, such as the ornithischian basal of ornithopsods as well as marginocephalians. Peng added a new species to the Genus agilisaurus in 1992. This species was previously called Yandusaurus multidens, but due to its similarities to A. louderbacki it was given the name Agilisaurus multdens. In 2005, it was reclassified to its own new Genus, Hexinlusaurus Multidens.
The name comes from its Latin “agilis” meaning ‘agile’ and Greek “sauros” meaning ‘lizard’. The epithet of the species, Louderbacki, is a tribute to George Louderback, the famous U.S. geologist who was the first to find fossils in the Sichuan Basin in 1915. Studies suggest that it may have been diurnalin, active all day long with short periods of time.