Syntarsus rhodesiensis

  • Pronounced:  sin - Tar - sus

  • Diet:  Carnivore (meat-eater)

  • Name Means:  "Fused Ankle"

  • Length:  6 feet (2 m)

  • Height:  2.5 feet (.8 m)

  • Weight:  33 pounds (15 kilos)

  • Time:  Early Jurassic - 200 MYA

Fossil remains for this Dinosaur have been found in Africa, SW United States

Syntarsus was one of the first of the Jurassic meat eaters to evolve. It had the basic look of the very first dinosaurs and it resembled those from the Late Triassic found in South America, such as Herrerasaurus. It was a small, swift hunter that ran on its hind legs. It had lots of sharp teeth and it appears that it could use its hands to hold onto its prey.

Syntarsus is a good example of how dinosaurs spread, apparently from South America. This small predator had the same basic features found on early dinosaur, and its appearance in both Africa and the southWestern United States indicate that it migrated from South America. There is species differentiation between the African and U.S. specimens, again supporting the migration and adaptation theories.

The African species is known from almost 30 specimens. The North American species had rudimentary crests and may show an evolutionary step toward the much larger coelophysoids and Jurassic Park star, Dilophosaurus.

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