Elaphrosaurus

Name: Elaphrosaurus ‭(‬Lightweight lizard‭)‬.
Phonetic: E-laf-roe-sore-us.
Named By: Werner Janensch‭ ‬-‭ ‬1920.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Saurischia,‭ ‬Theropoda,‭ ‬Neotheropoda,‭ ‬Ceratosauria.
Species: E.‭ ‬bambergi‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: Around‭ ‬6.2‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Tanzania‭ ‬-‭ ‬Tendaguru Formation.‭ ‬Possibly also USA‭ ‬-‭ ‬Morrison Formation.
Time period: Tithonian of the Jurassic,‭ ‬possibly into early Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Almost complete skeleton.‭ ‬Skull unknown.

       Elaphrosaurus has been something of an enigma for palaeontologists as while it is generally regarded as a ceratosaur,‭ ‬its proportions are similar to some other kinds of theropods.‭ ‬The overall appearance of Elaphrosaurus is that of a lightweight hunter that relied more upon speed rather than strength to take down prey.‭ ‬The tibia in particular is longer than the femur which is a good sign that Elaphrosaurus would have been a fast runner.‭ ‬In fact it is these leg proportions that once led to the suggestion that Elaphrosaurus may have been a primitive ornithomimosaur after it was initially thought to have been a late surviving coelophysid.‭ ‬The latter conclusion was based upon the long neck that probably supported a smaller skull than other theropods which are known to have larger skulls on shorter necks.
       Some changes regarding the assignment of fossils have taken place over the years.‭ ‬A former species named from Nigerian fossil material called Elaphrosaurus gautieri was renamed in‭ ‬2004‭ ‬as Spinostropheus.‭ ‬Other remains from the Morrison Formation of the United States have been regarded as possibly being the same genus as Elaphrosaurus,‭ ‬but at the time of writing are not yet officially recognised.

Further reading
- Ueber Elaphrosaurus bambergi und die Megalosaurier aus den Tendaguru-Schichten Deutsch-Ostafrikas [On Elaphrosaurus bambergi and the megalosaurs of the Tendaguru Formation of German East Africa] - Sitzungsberichte der Gesellschaft Naturforschender Freunde zu Berlin 1920:225-235 - W. Janensch - 1920.
- Elaphrosaurus, an ornithomimid dinosaur from the Upper Jurassic of North America and Africa - Paläontologische Zeitschrift. 56, 265-275 - P. Galton - 1982.
- The second record of the African theropod Elaphrosaurus (Dinosauria, Ceratosauria) from the Western Hemisphere - Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie Monatshefte. 2001(9), 565-576 - Chure - 2001.



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