Podokesaurus (swift-footed lizard)
Mignon Talbot - 1911
Estimated 6-7 feet long
P. holyokensis (type)
USA, - Portland Formation
Early Jurassic, 200 million years ago
Podokesaurus was a small carnivorous dinosaur that lived in North America during the Early Jurassic period, around 200 million years ago. Its name means “swift-footed lizard,” and it was first discovered in Massachusetts in the 1910s.
Podokesaurus was a bipedal dinosaur, which means it walked on two legs. It was about 6-7 feet long and probably weighed around 50-75 pounds. It had sharp teeth and claws, and likely hunted small animals such as lizards and mammals.
Despite being a relatively small and primitive dinosaur, Podokesaurus is important because it provides important insights into the early evolution of theropod dinosaurs, the group of dinosaurs that includes Tyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptor. Some scientists think that Podokesaurus may be one of the earliest members of the Coelurosauria, a subgroup of theropods that includes birds.
Podokesaurus is known from only a few fragmentary fossils, so much of what we know about it is based on educated guesses and comparisons with other dinosaurs from the same time period. Nonetheless, this little dinosaur is an important part of the dinosaur family tree and provides valuable information about the early evolution of these incredible creatures.