(Big forelimbed lizard).
Named By: M. Calzavara, G. Muscio & R. Wild - 1980.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Protorosauria, Drepanosauridae.
Species: M. preonensis (type), M. endennae.
Size: Roughly about 25 centimetres long.
Known locations: Italy.
Time period: Norian of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: Two species recognised, most of the skeleton is known.
is one of the better known of the drepanosaurs, a special group of
reptiles that possessed tails that could hook around branches. With
an additional hook on the end of their tails, Megalancosaurus
believed to have walked along the branches of Triassic era tree
canopies, hunting for small invertebrates to eat.
Megalancosaurus is noted for having a bird-like skull, in fact Megalancosaurus was even once considered to possibly be an ancient ancestor of birds until the remainder of the skeleton was discovered and that idea was disproved once and for all. The slender jaws of Megalancosaurus were probably instead used to reach into tight recesses to pluck out hidden invertebrates.
- Megalancosaurus preonensis, n. g., n. sp., a new reptile from the Norian of Friuli". Gortania 2: 49–63 - M. Calzavara, G. Muscio & R. Wild - 1980.
- Birdlike characters in the Triassic archosaur Megalancosaurus. - Natur Wissenschaften 80:564–566 - R. Wild & A. Feduccia - 1993.
- Megalancosaurus, a possibly arboreal archosauromorph (Reptilia) from the Upper Triassic of Northern Italy. - Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 14(1):38-52. - S. Renesto - 1994.
- Bird-like head on a chameleon body: new specimens of the enigmatic diapsid reptile Megalancosaurus from the Late Triassic of Northern Italy. - Rivista Italiana di Paleontologia e Stratigrafia 106: 157–179. - S. Renesto - 2000.
- The taxonomy and paleobiology of the Late Triassic (Carnian-Norian: Adamanian-Apachean) drepanosaurs (Diapsida: Archosauromorpha: Drepanosauromorpha) - New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 46: 1–81 - Silvio Renesto, Justin A. Spielmann, Spencer G. Lucas & Giorgio Tarditi Spagnoli - 2010.