Berberosaurus

Name: Berberosaurus ‭(B‬erber lizard‭)‬.
Phonetic: Ber-ber-o-sore-us.
Named By: Ronan Allain,‭ ‬Ronald Tykoski,‭ ‬Najat Aquesbi,‭ ‬Nour-Eddine,‭ ‬Michel Monbaron,‭ ‬Dale Russell‭ & ‬Phillipe Taquet‭ ‬-‭ ‬2007.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Saurischia,‭ ‬Theropoda,‭ ‬Neotheropoda,‭ ‬Ceratosauria‭?
Species: B.‭ ‬liassicus‭ (‬type‭).
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: Unavailable.
Known locations: Morocco‭ ‬-‭ ‬Toundoute Group.
Time period: Pleinsbachian/Toarcian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Partial post cranial skeleton of a sub adult,‭ ‬including partial hind limb,‭ ‬hip and a cervical‭ (‬neck‭) ‬vertebrae.

       Berberosaurus will catch the eye of anyone interested in theropod dinosaurs because the genus may represent the oldest ceratosaur,‭ ‬though not everyone is in agreement.‭ ‬The original description of Berberosaurus came to the conclusion that Berberosaurus was an abelisauroid that was more advance that genera such as Elaphrosaurus and Spinostropheus,‭ ‬though more primitive than Xenotarsosaurus and other abelisaurs.‭ ‬This was challenged one year later when a study by Carrano and Sampson found Berberosaurus to actually be basal ceratosaur instead.‭ ‬Then again one year after this in‭ ‬2009,‭ ‬a study by Xu et al.‭ ‬found Berberosaurus to be a dilophosaurid and therefore related to genera such as Cryolophosaurus,‭ ‬Dilophosaurus and Dracovenator.
       Regardless of the eventual phylogenetic placement of the genus,‭ ‬Berberosaurus seems to have been a medium sized theropod dinosaur,‭ ‬and was likely a predator of other dinosaurs of the time.‭ ‬These may include later prosauropods as well as early sauropods,‭ ‬with a particular genus called Tazoudasaurus being known from the same location as Berberosaurus.‭ ‬Other prey animals could include early ornithiscians as well as smaller theropods.
       The name Berberosaurus means‭ ‘‬berber lizard‭’ ‬and is a reference to the Berber people of Morocco.‭ ‬The species name B.‭ ‬liassicus is a reference to the Lias epoch.

Further reading
-‭ ‬A basal abelisauroid from the late Early Jurassic of the High Atlas Mountains,‭ ‬Morocco,‭ ‬and the radiation of ceratosaurs‭ ‬-‭ ‬Ronan Allain,‭ ‬Ronald Tykoski,‭ ‬Najat Aquesbi,‭ ‬Nour-Eddine,‭ ‬Michel Monbaron,‭ ‬Dale Russell‭ & ‬Phillipe Taquet‭ ‬-‭ ‬2007.
-‭ ‬The phylogeny of Ceratosauria‭ (‬Dinosauria:‭ ‬Theropoda‭)‬.‭ ‬Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.‭ ‬6‭ ‬-‭ ‬Carrano‭ & ‬Sampson‭ ‬-‭ ‬2008.
-‭ ‬A Jurassic ceratosaur from China helps clarify avian digital homologies‭ (‬supplementary information‭) ‬-‭ ‬X.‭ ‬Xu,‭ ‬J.‭ ‬M.‭ ‬Clark,‭ ‬J.‭ ‬Mo,‭ ‬J.‭ ‬Choiniere,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬A.‭ ‬Forster,‭ ‬G.‭ ‬M.‭ ‬Erickson,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬W.‭ ‬E.‭ ‬Hone,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬Sullivan,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬A.‭ ‬Eberth,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬Nesbitt,‭ ‬Q.‭ ‬Zhao,‭ ‬R.‭ ‬Hernandez,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬-K.‭ ‬Jia,‭ ‬F.‭ ‬-L.‭ ‬Han‭ & ‬Y.‭ ‬Guo‭ ‬-‭ ‬2009.





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