STL Science Center

STL Science Center

18 October 2014

Looking Basal

©Nobu Tamura
Ornithopods all have a similar look to them. Basal ornithopods are no different in that respect. They exhibit primitive and derived traits, but they all have a fairly basic body plan that can be generalized as typically facultatively (at least) bipedal with a beaked face and a body that suggests that running is the primary defensive tactic of these animals.Safety in numbers may not have been their only defense, but for now it appears to be the only one we know of. This is, of course, partly due to the fact that there are not many remains from the known individual and that that one is fragmentary to begin with. However, it is important to note that there does not appear to be much in the way of novel traits that stick out in Gaspirinasaura's body plan.

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