Monday, October 11, 2010


I might not have a whole lot to write about this particular Dinosaur, but that is because it is simply so new! Sarahsaurus, named after Sarah Butler, an Austin, TX philanthropist, was first discovered in 1997 and findings regarding it have just recently been published. Sarahsaurus lived in the early Jurassic around 190 million years ago.

(Image Source)
Sarahsaurus is so awesome because of what it tells us about the dispersion of dinosaurs across North and South America. The traditional view was that Dinosaurs were so dominant that they out-competed everything else around them. A new view is rising that Dinosaurs in the Americas were successful because they were opportunistic rather than dominant. There were no Dinosaurs in the area prior to the Triassic-Jurassic extinction, and then after the previous residents went extinct, Dinosaurs like Sarahsaurus moved in.

Sarahsaurus was a Sauropodomorph, a precursor to Sauropods like Apatosaurus. Like the Sauropods, Sarahsaurus had a long neck and a small head. It also interestingly had hands! They were about the size of human hands, but much, much more powerful. It is now thought that these Dinosaurs were something more than herbivores. Their strong hands and versatile teeth point to the fact that they may have been scavengers.

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