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an omnivorous massospondylid sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Late Triassic of Argentina.
Pronunciation: ko-lo-RAHD-ee-SOR-us
Meaning: Los Colorados (formation) lizard
Author/s: Lambert (1983)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: La Rioja, Argentina
Chart Position: 243

Coloradisaurus brevis

Coloradisaurus—a member of Massospondylidae (a group of Late Triassic long-necked sauropodomorphs or "prosauropods")—is named after the Los Colorados Formation of Argentina and has nothing to do with Colorado. Nor is it anything like Coloradia, which is what Bonaparte initially christened its remains in 1978 blissfully unaware that C.A. Blake had claimed the name for a pesky pine moth (Coloradia pandora)—a decimator of trees but a delicacy to California's Paiute people, in larvae form—115 years earlier. David Lambert spotted this error and coined Coloradisaurus as a replacement name in 1983. And it has been accepted by dinosaur experts, even though the fix occurred in the non-scientific platform of an "off the shelf" book.

Coloradisaurus fossils are scarce, but those that are known can be compared to its closest relatives to gain a rough idea of bulk and general body plan. It was about the same size as Massospondylus and shared many of its characteristics. But its most notable features are a stubby snout and huge eye sockets on the side of a relatively small skull, which led some paleontologists to muse that maybe it was an adult version of Mussaurus, which until recently was only known from juvenile specimens.

(Short-snouted Los Colorados lizard)Etymology
Coloradisaurus is derived from "Colorados" (for the Los Colorados Formation in which it was discovered) and the Greek "Sauros" (lizard).
The species epithet, brevis, means "short" in Latin, and refers to its stubby snout.
The remains of Coloradisaurus were discovered at "Cerro Rajado" in the Los Colorados Formation (Agua de la Peña Group), La Esquina, south of Pagancillo, Gral. Lavalle Dept., La Rioja Province, Argentina, in October 1971. The expedition party, organised from the Fundación Miguel Lillo and supported financially by the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Técnicas, included Martín Vince, Juan C. Leal, Tomás H. Fasola and José F. Bonaparte. The holotype (PVL 3967) is an almost complete skull.
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Triassic
Stage: Norian
Age range: 228-209 mya
Est. max. length: 4 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 300 Kg
Diet: Herbivore
• Blake CA (1863) "Description of a supposed new genus and species of Saturniidae from the Rocky Mountains". Proc. Ent. Soc. Philadelphia 2: 279, pl.7
• Bonaparte JF (1978) "Coloradia brevis n. g. et n. sp. (Saurischia-Prosauropoda), a plateosaurid from the Upper Triassic Los Colorados Formation of La Rioja, Argentina". Ameghiniana. 15 (3–4): 327–332.
• David Lambert (1983) "A Field Guide to Dinosaurs". Avon Books, New York 1-256.
• Novas FE (2009) "The Age of Dinosaurs in South America".
• Paul GS (2010) "The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs".
• Apaldetti C, Pol D and Yates AM (2013) "The postcranial anatomy of Coloradisaurus brevis (Dinosauria: Sauropodomorpha) from the Late Triassic of Argentina and its phylogenetic implications". Palaeontology 56: 277-301.
• Apaldettia C, Martinez RN, Pol D and Souter T (2014) "Redescription of the Skull of Coloradisaurus brevis (Dinosauria, Sauropodomorpha) from the Late Triassic Los Colorados Formation of the Ischigualasto-Villa Union Basin, northwestern Argentina". Journal of Vert. Paleontology 34: 1113-1132.
• Peyre de Fabrègues C and Allain R (2016) "New material and revision of Melanorosaurus thabanensis, a basal sauropodomorph from the Upper Triassic of Lesotho". PeerJ 4:e1639 DOI:10.7717/peerj.1639
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "COLORADISAURUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 21st Feb 2018.