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AGNOSPHITYS

an omnivorous guaibasaurid sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Late Triassic of England.
agnosphitys cromhallensis
Pronunciation: ag-nohs-FIE-tis
Meaning: Unknown begetter
Author/s: Fraser et al. (2002)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Avon, England
Chart Position: 411

Agnosphitys cromhallensis

Although disputed by some, Agnosphitys (also mispelled Agnostiphys and Agnosphytis) seems to lie close to the ancestry of dinosaurs, but the whereabouts of its bed isn't exactly clear. In all honesty this has been an issue from the get-go, and the authors who described it even chose the name "unknown begetter", which means they have no idea of its ancestry and how it came to be. Not a good start.

Among dis-articulated and randomly assigned remains, its holotype ilium (part of the pelvis) belongs to a saurischian, a maxilla (upper jaw bone) may be theropodan... or lack any dinosaurian features depending on which scientist you follow, a humerus ("funny" bone) and astragali (ankle joint) are distinctly dinosaurian though don't necessarily belong to the same dinosaur, and the odd tooth could belong to absolutely anything.

Unsuprisingly, Agnosphitys is a nightmare to classify. Depending on how Dinosauria is defined, it is either a small primitive meat-eating dinosaur, one of the dinosaur's closest non-dinosaur relatives known as dinosauriformes, or possibly a guaibasaurid—the most primitive group of sauropodomorphs that were small, bipedal, probably omnivorous, and originally thought to be theropods. Given the uncertainty, we're plumping for "a primitive saurischian with impossible to classify chimaeric remains belonging to theropods and god knows what else", which pretty much sums it up.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Triassic
Stage: Norian
Age range: 228-209 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 0.7 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 3 Kg
Diet: Omnivore
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Sauropodomorpha
Guaibasauridae
Agnosphitys
cromhallensis
References
• N.C. Fraser, K. Padian, G.M. Walkden & A.L.M. Davis (2002) "Basal dinosauriform remains from Britain and the diagnosis of the Dinosauria".
• Max C. Langer (2004) "Basal Saurischia" in Weishampel, Dodson and Osmólska's "The Dinosauria: Second Edition". /uk.
• Martin D Ezcurra (2010) "A new early dinosaur (Saurischia: Sauropodomorpha) from the Late Triassic of Argentina: a reassessment of dinosaur origin and phylogeny".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "AGNOSPHITYS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 28th Mar 2017.
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