Name: Staurikosaurus ‭(‬Southern cross lizard‭)‬.
Phonetic: Store-rick-oh-sore-us.
Named By: Edwin H.‭ ‬Colbert‭ ‬-‭ ‬1970.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Saurischia,‭ ‬Theropoda,‭ ‬Herrerasauridae.
Species: S.‭ ‬pricei‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: About‭ ‬2.25‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Brazil‭ ‬-‭ ‬Santa Maria Formation.
Time period: Carnian of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: Lower jaw and partial post cranial remains.

       Staurikosaurus may have been only a small theropod dinosaur,‭ ‬but it is also one of the earliest known confirmed dinosaurs.‭ ‬By the time of the Carnian,‭ ‬the first definitive theropods were roaming around South America and hunting other animals.‭ ‬At a little over two meters long,‭ ‬Staurikosaurus was probably a predator of smaller vertebrates like lizards,‭ ‬though it may have hunted for other smaller,‭ ‬possibly juvenile dinosaurs of genera like Saturnalia as well as scavenging the kills of other larger predators of the time.‭ ‬The long hind legs of Staurikosaurus indicate that it was a dinosaur that relied upon speed.
       It is this very bipedal form that would become the‭ ‘‬blueprint‭’ ‬of dinosaurian predators for the next one hundred and eighty million years till the end of the Mesozoic,‭ ‬when large powerful predators like Tyrannosaurus and small exceptionally fast and agile predators like Velociraptor took the basic body design of Staurikosaurus to its extreme.‭ ‬This is not to say that Staurikosaurus itself was the ancestor of all later theropod genera,‭ ‬just that it is a member of a group of dinosaurs that either were or very closely related to those that were ancestral.

Further reading
-‭ ‬A saurischian dinosaur from the Triassic of Brazil,‭ ‬E.‭ ‬H.‭ ‬Colbert‭ ‬-‭ ‬1970.
-‭ ‬Recovering missing data:‭ ‬estimating position and size of caudal vertebrae in Staurikosaurus pricei Colbert,‭ ‬1970‭ ‬-‭ ‬,‭ ‬O.‭ ‬N.‭ ‬Grillo‭ & ‬S.‭ ‬A.‭ ‬K.‭ ‬Azevedo‭ ‬-‭ ‬2011.


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