Eoraptor and Eodromaeus

Going though some old files I realised that I’ve still not got round to showing off everything from the Dinosaur Expo in Tokyo last year! There’s still a handful of exhibits with are worth putting up on here and chief among them is this pair of very basal dinosaurs Eoraptor (above) and Eodromaeus (below).

I did once see a cast of the Eoraptor holotype briefly and it did look rather flattened, though mostly complete, so I assume the mount above is a fair representation, though I also assume it’s mostly sculpted rather than cast. Hard to tell really from a distance and this was one of the things I didn’t have time to examine in detail so I’m afraid I don’t know. As for Eodromaeus, a look through my files tells me I don’t have a copy of the paper with me on my laptop but a quick google suggests it’s mostly complete and preserved in a pretty good condition.

As usual for things this close to the base of a major radiation, the exact phylogenetic status of these animals is not entirely certain. Described as a basal theropod, Eoraptor has since been recovered as a basal sauropodomorph and I don’t think it would be a major surprise if Eodromaeus ever moved a few nodes around the tree at some point.

2 Responses to “Eoraptor and Eodromaeus”

  1. 1 Mark Robinson 09/03/2012 at 4:10 am

    I assume that there must be species which are saurischians from before the theropod-sauropodomorph separation and that they would look very similar to generic basal theropods. I guess that there is always going to be debate about which side of a(n arbitrary) line an animal close to that line would fall. Need…more…data.

    • 2 David Hone 09/03/2012 at 7:32 am

      Yeah that’s pretty much it. The closer you get to a split, the harder it will be to tell things apart (as the key characters won’t have appeared or be in the same form) hence why things tend to jump around a bit, plus of course we’re going back 200+ million years looking for relatively small fossils so the remains are few and far between.

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