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LYCORHINUS

a heterodontosaurid ornithischian dinosaur from the Early Jurassic of South Africa.
Pronunciation: LIEK-o-RIEN-us
Meaning: Wolf snout
Author/s: Haughton (1924)
Synonyms: Lanusaurus scalpridens (Gow 1975)
First Discovery: Cape Province, South Africa
Chart Position: 109

Lycorhinus angustidens

Way back when Sidney Haughton first described Lycorhinus he thought it was an ancestor of modern mammals—specifically a cynodont (meaning "dog teeth")—which is not so suprising when you bear in mind its first remains ammount to a single lower jaw bone complete with large, distinct, canine-like teeth or "tusks". These features led to its name which means "wolf snout" but with the discovery of Heterodontosaurus tucki—a well preserved small ornithiscian with similar dentition—Alfred Walter Crompton (nicknamed "Fuzz" for his woolly hair) twigged that Lycorhinus was actually a dinosaur.

Richard Anthony Thulborn wasn't kind to Heterodontosaurus. He mercilessly discarded its name and assigned its remains to Lycorhinus as Lycorhinus tucki in 1969 but no-one took much notice. Then he attempted to bolster Lycorhinus once again when he coined Lycorhinus consors in 1974 which received a little more attention, but only because James Hopson was busy moving its remains to Abrictosaurus at the time!

Christopher Gow did manage to officially bulk up Lycorhinus in 1990 when he realised that an upper jaw from the Elliot Formation which he had named Lanasaurus scalpridens—from the Latin "lana" ("wool" for "Fuzz" Crompton), the Greek "sauros" (lizard), and the Latin "scalprum" (chisel), and "dens" (tooth)—in 1975 actually belonged to Lycorhinus angustidens, and ditto for Robert Broom's Lycorhinus parvidens.
(Wolf snout with constricted teeth)Etymology
Lycorhinus is derived from the Greek "lykos" (wolf) and "rhin" (snout), named for the "canine" teeth present in its lower jaw.
The species epithet, angustidens, means "constricted teeth".
Discovery
Discovered by Dr M. Ricono in the Elliot Formation at Paballong, near Mount Fletcher, Transkei (Herschel) District, Cape Province, South Africa, the Lycorhinus holotype (SAM 3606) is a lower jaw (mandible).
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Early Jurassic
Stage: Hettangian-Simemurian
Age range: 199-189 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 1.2 meters
Est. max. hip height: 0.4 meters
Est. max. weight: 7 Kg
Diet: Herbivore
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Ornithischia
Heterodontosauridae
Lycorhinus
angustidens
References
• S.H. Haughton (1924) "The fauna and stratigraphy of the Stormberg Series".
• R.A. Thulborn (1970) "The systematic position of the Triassic ornithischian dinosaur Lycorhinus angustidens".
• A.J. Charig and A.W. Crompton (1974) "The alleged synonymy of Lycorhinus and Heterodontosaurus".
• J.A. Hopson (1975) "On the generic separation of the ornithischian dinosaurs Lycorhinus and Heterodontosaurus from the Stormberg Series of South Africa". (coins Abrictosaurus)
• C.E. Gow, (1975) "A new heterodontosaurid from the Redbeds of South Africa showing clear evidence of tooth replacement".
• Gow, C.E., (1990) "A tooth-bearing maxilla referable to Lycorhinus angustidens Haughton, 1924 (Dinosauria, Ornithischia)".
• Norman, D.B., Sues, H.D., Witmer, L.M. and Coria, R.A. (2004) "Basal Ornithopoda" in Weishampel, Dodson and Osmólska (eds.) "The Dinosauria: Second Edition".
• Butler, Richard J.; Galton, Peter M.; Porro, Laura B.; Chiappe, Luis M.; Henderson, D. M.; and Erickson, Gregory M. (2010) "Lower limits of ornithischian dinosaur body size inferred from a new Upper Jurassic heterodontosaurid from North America".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "LYCORHINUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 26th Jun 2017.
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