Procompsognathus

Name: Procompsognathus ‭(‬Before elegant jaw‭ ‬-‭ ‬a reference to the genus Compsognathus‭)‬.
Phonetic: Pro-comp-sog-nay-fuss.
Named By: Eberhaad Fraas‭ ‬-‭ ‬1913.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Saurischia,‭ ‬Theropoda,‭ ‬Coelophysidae.
Species: P.‭ ‬triassicus‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Insectivore/Carnivore.
Size: Estimated about‭ ‬1‭ ‬meter long.
Known locations: Germany,‭ ‬Baden-Wurttemberg‭ ‬-‭ ‬Lowenstein Formation.
Time period: Norian of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: Fragmentary skeleton.

       Procompsognathus has often been recreated in popular science work about dinosaurs where it is usually depicted as a very small bipedal theropod dinosaur.‭ ‬However since the initial description of the‭ ‬holotype fossils,‭ ‬further specimens have been referred to the genus,‭ ‬though these are controversial fossils that are widely seen as not belonging to Procompsognathus.
       SMNS‭ ‬12352‭ (‬partial skull and lower jaws‭) ‬and SMNS‭ ‬12352a‭ (‬a left hand‭) ‬were assigned to Procompsognathus by Frederich von Huene in‭ ‬1921.‭ ‬First in‭ ‬1982‭ ‬John Ostrom claimed that both of these are of different creatures.‭ ‬In‭ ‬1992,‭ ‬Rupert Wild and Paul Sereno even challenged the holotype remains saying that the skull and post cranial remains did not belong to the same dinosaur.‭ ‬They considered the post cranial remains to be of a dinosaur while the skull was of a crocodylomorph called Saltoposuchus,‭ ‬however a late study by Sankar Chatterjee refuted this by saying the skull was not of a crocodylomorph.‭ ‬SMNS‭ ‬12352‭ ‬and SMNS‭ ‬12352‭ ‬meanwhile have both been interpreted as being crocodylomorphs,‭ ‬with SMNS‭ ‬12352a being possibly just archosaurian‭ (‬Knoll,‭ ‬2006‭ & ‬2008‭)‬.‭ ‬In‭ ‬2012‭ ‬a CAT scan of and SMNS‭ ‬12352a,‭ ‬now relabelled as SMNS‭ ‬12591a confirmed that it was of a crocodylomorph,‭ ‬but not Saltoposuchus.
       The future for Procompsognathus is a little uncertain as while it is considered a valid genus,‭ ‬it has already proven very difficult to attribute further remains to it.‭ ‬A final note about the name,‭ ‬Procompsognathus got its name because it appeared in the Triassic before another similar genus of dinosaur named Compsognathus that lived in the late Jurassic.‭ ‬This correlation is based around visual similarity between these two dinosaurs,‭ ‬though it has never been implied that Procompsognathus was a direct ancestor to Compsognathus.

Further reading
-‭ ‬Die neuesten Dinosaurierfunde in der schwäbischen Trias‭ [‬The newest dinosaur finds in the Swabian Trias‭]‬,‭ ‬Eberhaad Fraas‭ ‬-‭ ‬1913.
-‭ ‬Neue Pseudosuchier und Coelurosaurier aus dem württembergischen Keuper,‭ ‬F.‭ ‬von Huene‭ ‬-‭ ‬1921.
-‭ ‬Procompsognathus:‭ ‬theropod,‭ "‬thecodont‭" ‬or both‭?‬,‭ ‬Paul C.‭ ‬Sereno‭ & ‬Rupert Wild‭ ‬-‭ ‬1992.
-‭ ‬Procompsognathus from the Triassic of Germany is not a crocodylomorph,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬Chatterjee‭ ‬-‭ ‬1993.
-‭ ‬Reassessment of the Procompsognathus skull,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬Chatterjee‭ ‬-‭ ‬1993.
-‭ ‬The phylogenetic status of Procompsognathus revisited,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬Allen‭ ‬-‭ ‬2004.
-‭ ‬Does Procompsognathus have a head‭? ‬Systematics of an enigmatic Triassic taxon,‭ ‬F.‭ ‬Knoll‭ & ‬R.‭ ‬Schoch‭ ‬-‭ ‬2006.
-‭ ‬On the Procompsognathus postcranium‭ (‬Late Triassic,‭ ‬Germany‭)‬,‭ ‬F.‭ ‬Knoll‭ ‬-‭ ‬2008.
-‭ ‬CT scanning,‭ ‬rapid prototyping and re-examination of a partial skull of a basal crocodylomorph from the Late Triassic of Germany,‭ ‬F.‭ ‬Knoll‭ & ‬R.‭ ‬Schoch‭ ‬-‭ ‬2012.



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