Name: Asilisaurus ‭(‬Ancestor lizard‭)‬.
Phonetic: A-se-le-sore-us.
Named By: S.‭ ‬J,‭ ‬Nesbitt,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬A.‭ ‬Sidor,‭ ‬R.‭ ‬B.‭ ‬Irmis,‭ ‬K.‭ ‬D.‭ ‬Angielczyk,‭ ‬R.‭ ‬M.‭ ‬H.‭ ‬Smith‭ & ‬L.‭ ‬M.‭ ‬A.‭ ‬Tsuji‭ ‬-‭ ‬2010.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Archosauria,‭ ‬Ornithodira,‭ ‬Dinosauromorpha,‭ ‬Dinosauriformes,‭ ‬Silesauridae.
Species: A.‭ ‬kongwe‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Uncertain.
Size: Somewhere between‭ ‬1‭ ‬and‭ ‬3‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Tanzania‭ ‬-‭ ‬Manda Beds Formation,‭ ‬Lifua Member.
Time period: Anisian of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: Partial and fragmentary remains from several individuals.

       Asilisaurus were a kind of reptile that was very close to the evolutionary line that led to‭ ‬the‭ ‬development of the dinosaurs and pterosaurs.‭ ‬Although established upon very fragmentary fossil remains,‭ ‬the genus indicates a possible earlier development of dinosaurs back to‭ ‬the‭ ‬mid Triassic rather than the late Triassic.‭ ‬This also helps to establish the point of origin of dinosaurs as around South America and Africa during the Triassic.‭ ‬Early dinosaurs such as Eoraptor and Herrerasaurus in South America a few million years after Asilisaurus lived in Africa,‭ ‬but given that South America and Africa were joined together at this time,‭ ‬there is no telling what will be found in the Triassic fossil Formations of Africa over the coming years.

Further reading
-‭ ‬Ecologically distinct dinosaurian sister group shows early diversification of Ornithodira‭ ‬-‭ ‬S.‭ ‬J,‭ ‬Nesbitt,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬A.‭ ‬Sidor,‭ ‬R.‭ ‬B.‭ ‬Irmis,‭ ‬K.‭ ‬D.‭ ‬Angielczyk,‭ ‬R.‭ ‬M.‭ ‬H.‭ ‬Smith‭ & ‬L.‭ ‬M.‭ ‬A.‭ ‬Tsuji‭ ‬-‭ ‬2010.
- The femoral ontogeny and long bone histology of the Middle Triassic (?late Anisian) dinosauriform Asilisaurus kongwe and implications for the growth of early dinosaurs. - Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 36 (3): e1111224. - C. T. Griffin & Sterling J. Nesbitt - 2016.


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