STL Science Center

STL Science Center

18 November 2011

Executive Dinosaur Decision

Somehow I am still working within the confines, not necessarily that I have to but I want to, of a list I wrote in May of animals that this blog would cover. The fact that I have a list, which by the way is still about ten weeks from completion not counting this week of dinosaurs, is, I think, pretty fantastic. When it comes time to fix up a new list I'm going to have to go over the old one and any entries I haven't looked at in forever and make sure I don't redo any dinosaurs; with so many in the world of paleontology it's easy to forget after nearly a complete year on this blog and a year and three months on Facebook what dinosaurs I have already discussed. At any rate, and without further ado, the Dinosaur of the Week: Liliensternus.

Liliensternus liliensterni (not highly original, I know) is a Late Triassic predator of the Coelophysis family. A basal theropod, Liliensternus was named in 1934 in central Germany for the German paleontologist Hugo Ruhle von Lilienstern who found the original remains in 1922 - 1923. The fossils of Liliensternus remained in the castle museum of Lilienstern at Bedheim until 1969 when they were moved to the Humboldt in Berlin.

Liliensternus was a small long dinosaur at approximately 17 feet long but only estimated to weigh around 280 pounds. It's main large prey was probably Plateosaurus. It could have dined on many of the small mammal-like reptiles and lizards amongst other small creatures roaming the Triassic landscape. The most notable feature of Liliensternus is certainly its skull ridges along the nares, pre-frontal, and a small portion of the frontal itself. Otherwise, Liliensternus is a very stereotypical looking dinosaur.

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