Zephyrosaurus ‭(‬Westward wind lizard‭)‬

Short Info

Zephyrosaurus ‭(‬Westward wind lizard‭)‬

Phonetic : Zef-e-ir-sore-us.

Named By : Hans-Dieter Sues‭ ‬-‭ ‬1980

Diet : Herbivore

Size : Estimated 1.8 meters long

Type of Dinosaur : Euornithopod

Type Species : Z.‭ ‬schaffi‭ (‬type‭)

Found in : USA,‭ ‬Montana,‭ ‬Carbon County-‭ ‬Cloverly Formation.‭ ‬Possibly elsewhere in the US

When it Lived : Early Cretaceous, 120-110 million years ago

Zephyrosaurus (meaning “westward wind lizard”) is an ornithischian genus belonging to the orodromine dinosaur. It is based on part of a skull, as well as postcranial pieces discovered in the Aptian-Albian age Lower Cretaceous Cloverly Formation of Carbon County, Montana, USA. New remains are being described as well as tracks found in Maryland and Virginia as well as the US were attributed to animals that resemble Zephyrosaurus.


Zephyrosaurus in CopenhagenFunkMonk, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Hans-Dieter Sues named his new Genus to honor the fossil’s location in the western part of North America, and Charles R. Schaff who discovered the fossil. MCZ 4392 is the specimen that was used as the prototype. It comprises jaw fragments as well as the braincase, bones, some vertebrae and ribs fragments. The new genus was discovered to be the first to identify a previously undiscovered lineage of Hypsilophodont (a taxon which is now considered to not be natural) and is similar in some ways to Hypsilophodon.

Due to the fragility of the species and the lack of further fossils, Zephyrosaurus had not attracted much attention until the past few years, when two distinct incidents brought it greater recognition. The first was Martha Kutter, in a 2003 abstract, wrote about the new remains of the genus being studied at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History which included those of at most seven individuals who had bones from all parts within the human body.

Then, Stanford et al. (2004) published a paper on dinosaur tracks found in The Patuxent Formation of Maryland and Virginia and named it Hypsiloichnus marylandicus, and believed to be an animal similar to Zephyrosaurus according to the proportions of feet and hands.

Source: Wikipedia