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EUCNEMESAURUS

a plant-eating riojasaurid sauropodomorph dinosaur from Late Triassic of South Africa.
Pronunciation: yook-NEEM-ee-SOR-us
Meaning: Good-shinned lizard
Author/s: von Hoepen (1920)
Synonyms: Aliwalia rex
First Discovery: Free State, South Africa
Chart Position: 95

Eucnemesaurus fortis

Eucnemesaurus is a Riojasaurus-like non sauropod sauropodomorph (aka "prosauropod") whose meagre, 1920-discovered remains were all but ignored for 86 years as they sat on shelves at Pretoria's Transvaal Museum, having been lumped with, and labelled as, "Euscelosaurus". Then the restudy of a dinosaur that was suspected of being in receipt of wrongly assigned fossils dragged it kicking and screaming into the spotlight.

The critter in question was Aliwalia rex from Barnard's Spruit, which caused much excitement within scientific circles. Not because of its huge, fragmentary holotype femur but because its huge, fragmentary holotype femur was linked with a maxilla (upper jaw bone), packed with large, flat, serrated teeth. For many years the sheer size of these remains led many experts to believe that Aliwalia was a stupendously big carnivore for the time in which it lived and rivalled the biggest Late Jurassic and Cretaceous theropods in size. But the discovery of a more complete femur with clear sauropodomorph features showed that its non-toothy bits belonged to the long-forgotten Eucnemesaurus and Aliwalia is now synonymous with that dinosaur. The owner of said jaw is still a mystery.
(Good-shinned lizard) Etymology
Eucnemesaurus is derived from the Greek "eu-" (good, true), "kneme" (tibia, shin) and "sauros" (lizard), named for its robust lower leg.
The species epithet, fortis, means "strong" in Latin.
Discovery
The remains of Eucnemesaurus were discovered at farm Zonderhout in the Lower Elliot Formation, Slabberts district, Orange Free State, South Africa, by the awesomely named Egbert Cornelis Nicolaas van Hoepen.
The holotype (TrM 119) is a partial skeleton consisting of some vertebrae, part of a pubis, a femur, and two shin bones.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Triassic
Stage: Norian
Age range: 228-209 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 6 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 500 Kg
Diet: Herbivore
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Sauropodomorpha
Riojasauridae
Eucnemesaurus
fortis
References
• E. C. N. van Hoepen (1920) "Contributions to the knowledge of the reptiles of the Karroo Formation. 6. Further dinosaurian material in the Transvaal Museum".
• A.M. Yates (2006) "Solving a dinosaurian puzzle: the identity of Aliwalia rex Galton".
• G.S. Paul (2010) "The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "EUCNEMESAURUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 22nd Oct 2017.
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