|Name Meaning:||Big Dead Lizard|
|Distribution:||Africa and Southwestern U.S.|
|Time Period:||Early Jurassic, 199-188 Ma|
|Length:||10 ft (3 m)|
|Height:||32 in (80 cm)|
|Weight:||66 lbs (30 kg)|
The Megapnosaurus was originally named Syntarsus
by Raath in 1969. It was later renamed Megapnosaurus by Michael Ivie, Adam Slipinski, and Piotr Wegrzynowicz, because Syntarsus was already taken by the colydiine beetle. A bonebed was discovered in Zimbabwe containing approximately 30 specimens of Megapnosaurus. Recently studies have been made suggesting that the Megapnosaurus is in fact synonymous with the Coelophysis
The Megapnosaurus belonged to the same family as the
and the two are almost identical.
The Megapnosaurus was smaller, weighing approximately 70 pounds. It was skinny, had long legs, a long tail, and small crests on a long, narrow head. It had a
long neck and weak joints in the jaw, creating a hooked jaw similar to the
also of the same family.
This probably meant that the Megapnosaurus was a scavenger as the hook
weakened its jaw and taking down live prey would have been difficult. It
was a swift bipedal runner and may have hunted in packs. The dinosaur did
not live very long, approximately seven years.
ScienceViews Writer: Jason Hamilton.
Copyright © 2005-2010 Calvin & Rosanna Hamilton. All rights reserved.