Lesothosaurus

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Quick Facts
NameLesothosaurus
Diet
Weight10 kg
Length2 meters
Height1 meter
Period
Lesothosaurus
Human

Lesothosaurus was a genus of omnivorous genasaurid dinosaur that lived from the late Triassic to early Jurassic. It was when the earliest dinosaurs had split into the two main groups of dinosaurs, the saurischian dinosaurs and the ornithischian dinosaurs. In 1978, it was named by paleontologist Peter Galton with the name meaning "Lesotho lizard". 

It was one of the first ornithischian dinosaurs to roam the planet. It had long, short front legs with grasping hands and an elongated body and tail about three feet long. The head was small, with very large eyes. It represented one of the most primitive of all known ornithischian dinosaurs. Like other ornithischians, it had an upper and lower jaw that were horny, forming a beak-like structure. It has leaf-shaped teeth lining the jaws and fang-like teeth near the front of the upper jaws. This showed that it cut plant material with its beak and could not chew its food. The hind legs were much longer than the front legs, and the hand had four fingers and a smaller fifth finger. It was a bipedal omnivore and an agile runner. 

Lesothosaurus lived on hot, dry plains in what is now South Africa. It was small and lizard-like, about 1 m long, and weighed 3 to 10 kg. 

What does lesothosaurus mean?

It was named by paleontologist Peter Galton with the name meaning "Lesotho lizard".

When do lesothosaurs live?

Lesothosaurus was a genus of omnivorous genasaurid dinosaur that lived in the early Jurassic period. It was when the earliest dinosaurs had split into the two main groups of dinosaurs, the saurischian dinosaurs and the ornithischian dinosaurs.

What does Lesothosaurus eat?

Lesothosaurus was a bipedal omnivore that ate both plants and meat. 

Where was the Lesothosaurus found?

Lesothosaurus fossils were found together in Lesotho, South Africa.

Where did they live?

When did they live?

What was your diet?

Who discovered them?

What kind of dinosaurs are they?

What type of species are they?

How are they classified?

  • Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 134. ISBN 1-84028-152-9. 
  • Matthew G. Baron; David B. Norman; Paul M. Barrett (2016). "Postcranial anatomy of Lesothosaurus diagnosticus (Dinosauria: Ornithischia) from the Lower Jurassic of southern Africa: implications for basal ornithischian taxonomy and systematics". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. in press. doi:10.1111/zoj.12434
  • Benton, Michael J. (2012). Prehistoric Life. Edinburgh, Scotland: Dorling Kindersley. p. 271. ISBN 978-0-7566-9910-9. 
  • Sciscio L, Knoll F, Bordy EM, de Kock MO, Redelstorff R. (2017). Digital reconstruction of the mandible of an adult. Lesothosaurus diagnosticus with insight into the tooth replacement process and diet. PeerJ, 5: e3054 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.3054
  • Barrett, P. M., Butler, R. J., Yates, A. M., Baron, M. G., & Choiniere, J. N. (2016). New specimens of the basal ornithischian dinosaur Lesothosaurus diagnosticus Galton, 1978 from the Early Jurassic of South Africa.
  • Galton, P.; (1978).Fabrosauridae, the basal family of ornithischian dinosaurs (Reptilia: Ornithopoda).PALAEONTOLOGISCHE ZEITSCHRIFT 52(1-2); 138-159.
  • Knoll, F. (2002). Nearly complete skull of Lesothosaurus (Dinosauria: Ornithischia) from the Upper Elliot Formation (Lower Jurassic: Hettangian) of Lesotho. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 22, 2,238-243.
  • Sereno, P. C. 1991. Lesothosaurus, ""fabrosaurids"", and the early evolution of Ornithischia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 11, 168-197.
  • Butler, R.J., 2005. The 'fabrosaurid' ornithischian dinosaurs of the Upper Elliot Formation (Lower Jurassic) of South Africa and Lesotho. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 145: 175-218.
  • Butler, Richard J.; Upchurch, Paul; Norman, David B. (January 2008). "The phylogeny of the ornithischian dinosaurs". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology (in English) 6 (1): 1-40. doi:10.1017/S1477201907002271. 
  • Knoll, F.; Padian, K.; de Ricqles, A. (2009). "Ontogenetic change and adult body size of the early ornithischian dinosaur". Lesothosaurus diagnosticus: implications for basal ornithischian taxonomy". Gondwana Research 17 (1): 171-179. doi:10.1016/j.gr.2009.03.010. 
  • Butler, R.J. (2005). "The 'fabrosaurid' ornithischian dinosaurs of the Upper Elliot Formation (Lower Jurassic) of South Africa and Lesotho". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 145 (2): 175-218. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2005.00182.x. 
  • Butler, Richard J.; Upchurch, Paul and Norman, David, B. (2008). "The phylogeny of the ornithischian dinosaurs".. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 6 (1): 1-40. doi:10.1017/S1477201907002271. Accessed August 9, 2008.  The reference uses the obsolete parameter |coauthors= (help)
geological time 3

Fun Facts

  • It was one of the first ornithological dinosaurs to roam the planet.
  • It was named by paleontologist Peter Galton with the name meaning "Lesotho lizard". 
  • Lesothosaurus was a bipedal omnivore.
  • It represented one of the most primitive of all known ornithological dinosaurs.

 

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