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).
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.
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
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
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.
- 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.