Agilisaurus

Name: Agilisaurus (Agile lizard).
Phonetic: Aj-i-li-sore-us.
Named By: Peng Guangzhou - 1990.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Ornithischia.
Species: A. louderbacki (type).
Type: Herbivore.
Size: 1.2 meters long.
Known locations: China, Sichuan Province.
Time period: Bathonian to Callovian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: One almost complete specimen, parts of the left fore and hind limbs are missing.

       It is a wonderful coincidence that the construction of a dinosaur museum would actually result in the discovery of a new dinosaur, Agilisaurus. In fact the remains of Agilisaurus are now on display in the very same museum, the Zigong Dinosaur Museum.
       The name Agilisaurus is in reference to its lightweight build and skeleton. Also as seen in many other ornithopods, the lower leg is longer than the upper, resulting in a high running speed. It is probably this combination of fast speed and agility that was its primary defence against predators as it possessed absolutely no armoured modifications. Analysis of the scleral rings has indicated that Agilisaurus was a diurnal creature, active throughout the daytime, and resting at night time.
       Agilisaurus has been hard to classify as it does not have the distinctive features of any one group beyond the ornithischia. This has led to the two main groups of thought, that it is either an example of a late surviving primitive ornithopod, or it belongs in an as yet unknown, unassigned group.

Further reading
- A new small ornithopod (Agilisaurus louderbacki gen. et sp. nov.) from Zigong, China. - Newsletter of the Zigong Dinosaur Museum 2: 19-27. - G. Peng - 1990.
- Jurassic ornithopod Agilisaurus louderbacki (Ornithopoda: Fabrosauridae) from Zigong, Sichuan, China. - Vertebrata PalAsiatica 30: 39-51. - G. Peng - 1992.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Random favourites