Named By: Timothy B. Rowe, Hans-Dieter Sues & Robert R. Reisz - 2011.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Sauropodomorpha, Massopoda.
Species: S. aurifontanalis (type).
Size: Around 4.3 meters long.
Known locations: USA - Arizona - Kayenta Formation.
Time period: Sinemurian to Pliensbachian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Few specimens including post cranial Skelton of varying degrees of preservation, and a partial skull.
is currently one of the few known basal sauropodomorphs from North
America, with other genera including Anchisaurus
were the forerunners to the later giant sauropods that
would become dominant as the Jurassic era progressed on. As a basal
sauropodomorph, Sarahsaurus is thought to have
been a plant eating
dinosaur that could move about in either bipedal (two legged) or
quadrupedal (four legged) postures, probably switching between
them in order to facilitate such activities as feeding, drinking and
walking. At a little over four meters long Sarahsaurus
is one of the
larger dinosaurs currently known from the Kayenta Formation. However
Sarahsaurus may have still been prey to the meat
one of the largest known predators of Early Jurassic
North America, fossils for which have also been found in the Kayenta
The genus name Sarahsaurus is in honour of Sarah Butler. The species name means ‘gold of the spring’ after Gold Spring, Arizona where the holotype fossils were found.
- Dispersal and diversity in the earliest North American sauropodomorph dinosaurs, with a description of a new taxon. Timothy B. Rowe, Hans-Dieter Sues & Robert R. Reisz - 2010.