Agilisaurus (Agile lizard)

Short Info

Agilisaurus (Agile lizard)

Phonetic : Aj-i-li-sore-us.

Named By : Peng Guangzhou – 1990

Diet : Herbivore

Size : Estimated 1.2-1.7 meters long

Type of Dinosaur : Euornithopod

Type Species : A. louderbacki (type)

Found in : China, Sichuan Province

When it Lived : Late Jurassic, 169-159 million years ago

Agilisaurus (/,aedZIlI’so:r@sAgilisaurus (/,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) in height, and 40 kg of weight.

The teeth are leaf-shaped and were well-adapted to their abrasive diet of plants. The most surprising thing is that the wavy enamel on the teeth from A. louderbacki, as well as other ornithopods, likely to give it a greater resistance from wear thought to be restricted to the hadrosaurs. The same is true in the case of Changchunsaurus parvus.


Zigong Dinosaur Museum Agilisaurus louderbacki
Zhangzhugang, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Tibia (lower the leg bone) 207.0 millimeters in length was larger that its Femur (upper the leg bone) 199.0 millimeters in length this indicates that it was a swift bipedal runner using its long tail to balance, though it could be walking on all fours in search of food. It was a tiny herbivore that was approximately two metres (6.5 feet) in length. like all ornithischians had a beak-like structure at the edges of both its lower and upper jaws to assist in harvesting plants.

Due to the absence of interwoven bony struts that resemble tails, some paleontologists believe that it might be a burrow dweller.

There is a species named (A. Louderbacki) which 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. Genus and species were identified in the hands of Chinese paleontologist Peng Guangzhou in a short form in the year 1990. later described in greater detail by Peng in 1992.

A single skeleton that is complete from A. Louderbacki has become recognized by scientists as being one of the complete ornithischian small skulls ever discovered. There are only a few pieces of its left forelimb and hind limb remain missing, and these are reconstructed using those on its right.

The skeleton was discovered as part of the construction of Zigong Dinosaur Museum. Zigong Dinosaur Museum, in which it is currently housed. The museum 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, which includes Agilisaurus as well as Xuanhanosaurus, Shunosaurus, and Huayangosaurus. The quarry contains sediment of the Lower Shaximiao Formation (sometimes called “Xiashaximiao”) which ranges from the Bathonian through Callovian phases that comprise the Middle Jurassic Period, or between 168 and 161 million years ago.

In spite of its totality, Agilisaurus has been placed in a variety of positions within the ornithischian tree of family. It was initially placed in the family Fabrosauridae however, this is no longer believed to be valid by the majority of paleontologists.

Numerous recent studies, including analyses of cladistics, show Agilisaurus to be the fundamental part of group Euornithopoda which comprises the ornithopods with more origins from those belonging to the family Heterodontosauridae.

But, heterodontosaurs aren’t commonly thought of as ornithopods. They are more closely associated with the suborder Marginocephalia which comprises pachycephalosaurs as well as ceratopsians. In a recent cladistic examination, Agilisaurus was found in the position that is close to heterodontosaurs on the branch that leads to Marginocephalia.

Agilisaurus is found in various other locations in addition, such the ornithischian basal of ornithopods as well as marginocephalians.

In his comprehensive 1992 paper, Peng added a new species to the Genus Agilisaurus. This species was previously called Yandusaurus multidens. Since this species didn’t belong to the Genus Yandusaurus and due to its similarities to A. louderbacki It was given the name Agilisaurus multdens.

Others scientists weren’t convinced that the species was part of either Yandusaurus or Agilisaurus In the year 2005 it was was reclassified this time to its own new Genus. The genus is now called Hexinlusaurus multidens.

Many studies suggest the fact that this species may be more descended than Agilisaurus.

The name comes of its Latin “agilis” meaning ‘agile as well as”agilis” meaning ‘agility’ and Greek “sauros” meaning ‘lizard is a reference to the agility portrayed by its light skeleton and its long legs. The epithet of the species, Louderbacki is a tribute to Louderback, the famous U.S. geologist Dr. George Louderback. Louderback, who was the first to find fossils in the Sichuan Basin in 1915.

The rings of sclerals from Agilisaurus and reptiles and birds today suggest that it might have been diurnalin contrast to herbivores with larger sizes which were believed to be cathemeral and that was active all day long with short periods of time.

Source: Wikipedia