Named By: D. J. Simmons - 1965.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Ornithischia, Thyreophora.
Species: T. oehleri (type).
Size: Unknown due to lack of fossil remains.
Known locations: China - Lufeng Formation.
Time period: Sinemurian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Partial left dentary (lower jaw) with teeth.
Tatisaurus is one of those dinosaurs that has a lot of people forming lots of different opinions about what exactly it is. The person who first described the type fossil, D. J. Simmons first proposed that it belonged to a heterodontosaurid dinosaur and then later to a dinosaur similar to Scelidosaurus, a Thyreophoran that currently rests within the Ankylosauria group. In the 1990s the palaeontologist Dong Zhiming considered the partial jaw of Tatisaurus to actually come from a stegosaur (the other main type of thyreophoran dinosaur) based upon a similarity to the genus Huayangosaurus. But after this another palaeontologist called Spencer Lucas suggested that Tatisaurus was actually the same animal as Scelidosaurus. Palaeontologists after this however have been reluctant to classify Tatisaurus as any specific dinosaur and instead prefer to label Tatisaurus as a probably primitive thyreophoran dinosaur, but also one that is dubious because of the severe lack of fossils that are known for this dinosaur.
- The non-therapsid reptiles of the Lufeng Basin, Yunnan, China. - Fieldiana: Geology 15(1):1-93. - D. J. Simmons - 1965.
- Dinosaur Systematics: Perspectives and Approaches by Dong Zhiming. - In Cambridge University Press pp255-268, Kenneth Carpenter & Philip J. Currie (eds.) - 1990.
- The thyreophoran dinosaur Scelidosaurus from the Lower Jurassic Lufeng Formation, Yunnan, China, by S. G. Lucas. - In, The Continental Jurassic. Museum of Northern Arizona Bulletin 60. - M. Morales (ed) - 1990.
- Reconsidering the status and affinities of the ornithischian dinosaur Tatisaurus oehleri Simmons, 1965. - Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 150 (4): 865–874. - David B. Norman, Richard J. Butler, Susannah C. R. Maidment - 2007.