Halticosaurus (pron.:"HAL-tick-oh-SORE-us") is a genus of theropod dinosaur from the Late Triassic period (middle Norian stage, around 208 million years ago). It was a coelophysoid found in the Middle Stubensandstein formation of what is present-day Germany. Some researchers considered Halticosaurus the same genus as Liliensternus, but Samuel Welles (1984) found differences in the femoral head and the anterior trochanter.


The name Halticosaurus comes from the Greek words altikos (αλτικος) meaning "good at jumping"/"nimble" and sauros (σαυρος) meaning "lizard"; thus "nimble lizard". Halticosaurus was described and named by Friedrich von Huene[2] in 1908 and the type species is Halticosaurus longotarsus.


Halticosaurus longotarsus, is known from the holotype SMNS 12353, which consists of partial jaw bones and teeth, incomplete neck, back, hip and tail vertebrae, a partial humerus, two partial femora, and fragments of an ilium and a metatarsal This material was found to be mixed in with the remains of a prosauropod dinosaur, Sellosaurus gracilis. Rauhut and Hungerbuhler (2000) reassessed the type material and concluded that only the two partial femora can be reliably referred to this genus.[3] The hip bone has only two fused sacral vertebrae, a basal condition. The presence of a five-fingered hand represents the primitive condition of dinosaurs.[4] Benton (1992) noted that its skull was 18 inches long but was lightly built, featuring large fenestrae. The legs of Halticosaurus were strong as its arms were relatively short. Estimates suggest that Halticosaurus was about 5.5 m (18.0 ft) long.

Classification and phylogenyEdit

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