Procompsognathus ‭(‬Before elegant jaw‭ ‬-‭ ‬a reference to the genus Compsognathus‭)

Short Info

Procompsognathus ‭(‬Before elegant jaw‭ ‬-‭ ‬a reference to the genus Compsognathus‭)

Phonetic : Pro-comp-sog-nay-fuss.

Named By : Eberhaad Fraas‭ ‬-‭ ‬1913

Diet : Insectivore / Carnivore

Size : Estimated 1 meters long

Type of Dinosaur : Small Theropod

Type Species : P.‭ ‬triassicus‭ (‬type‭)‬

Found in : Germany,‭ ‬Baden-Wurttemberg‭ ‬-‭ ‬Lowenstein Formation

When it Lived : Late Triassic, 221-210 million years ago

Procompsognathus /,proUkamp’sagn@th@s/ is an extinct genus of coelophysid theropod dinosaur that lived approximately 210 million years ago during the later part of the Triassic Period, in what is now Germany. Procompsognathus, a small, light-built, ground-dwelling bipedal carnivore that could grow to approximately 1 m (3.3 feet) in length, was extremely small.


Procompsognathus triassicusGhedoghedo, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Procompsognathus’ fragmentary, poorly preserved skeleton was discovered in the Middle Stubensandstein member at the Lowenstein Formation, Weisse Steinbruch. This quarry is located on the northern slopes in the Stromberg region, near Pfaffenheim, Wurttemberg. Albert Burrer made the discovery in spring 1909, in white sandstone with gray/blue marl sediments. These sediments were deposited around 210 million year ago during the Norian stage.

The holotype SMNS 12591, consisted of three blocks of sandstone: one showed a small, seven-centimetre-long, severely crushed skull with lower jaws. The second and third blocks contained partially articulated remains from a postcranial skull, with 29 vertebrae (neck, back, and tail); ribs; elements and forelimbs of the shoulder girdle; an ilium; and both pubis and hindlimbs. It is an adult.

Burrer gave the specimen to Eberhard Fraas, a professor at the konigliche Stuttgarter Naturalienkabinett. Fraas gave a lecture on 9/10/11 and referred to the specimen as “Hallopus Celerrimus”. He considered it a jumping dinosaur about 60 cm (2.0 ft) in length. This was also associated with the origins of birds. Fraas changed the name of the official publication later. In 1913, Fraas named the genus Procompsognathus along with its type species, Procompsognathus Triassicus. The collection of Stuttgart’s State Museum of Natural History houses the type specimen.

Friedrich von Huene referred 2 more specimens to Procompsognathus in 1921. They were both found in Burrer quarry in 1908.

Procompsognathus is the genus name for the dinosaur Compsognathus. It means “before elegant jaw” and was derived from another dinosaur, Compsognathus. Compsognathus, a small predatory dinosaur that lived in the Jurassic period, derives its name from the Greek word kompsos. This can be translated as “elegant”, refined or “dainty” or the Greek word gnathos which can mean “jaw”. Although this direct lineage was not confirmed by subsequent research, the prefix Pro (pro), implies that it is “before” or “ancestor”. Triassic is the geologic time period in which this dinosaur belonged.

Source: Wikipedia