Mesozoic Era Triassic Period Dinosaurs Eoraptor


Quick Facts
Name Meaning:Dawn Thief
Distribution:Northwestern Argentina
Time Period:Triassic, 228 Ma
Length:3 ft (1 m)
Height:20 in (50 cm)
Weight:22 lb (10 kg)
Linnaean Classification
Cladistic Classification
  • Dinosauria
    • Saurischia
      • Theropoda
        • Eoraptor


The Eoraptor was originally found in 1991 by Ricardo Martinez. It was found in Argentina near Herrerasaurus skeletons and was nearly complete. It was later named in 1993 by paleontologists Paul Sereno, and Fernando Novas. It is one of the older dinosaurs ever discovered and is thought by many paleontologists to be a common ancestor of dinosaurs. Its classification is difficult to place, although it is generally thought to be even older than the Herrerasaurus. The Staurikosaurus may be older still. However, it is generally accepted among paleontologists that the Eoraptor is a Theropod and evolved after the Theropods split from the Sauropods.


The Eoraptor was evolutionarily one of the most primitive theropods. It was small and bipedal, although it may have occasionally walked on all fours. Its hand bore five fingers, three of which had claws. The fourth and fifth fingers were small may have been used for balance had the dinosaur walked on all fours. Its fore limbs were thin at almost half the size of its hind limbs. Although it was a carnivore it had both carnivorous and herbivorous teeth suggesting that it may have been an omnivore. It was fast, confronting prey nearly as large as itself and scavenging off larger prey.

ScienceViews Writer: Jason Hamilton.

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