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21 Mirischia Facts You’ll Never Forget

Mirischia facts are informative and interesting to read.

Mirischia Asymmetrica is a small dinosaur that belongs to clade Dinosauria, genus compsognathid, and family Compsognathidae. It hails from Brazil's Santana Formation and is said to have existed there approximately 145 million to 100.5 million years ago during the Albian Stage of the Early or Lower Cretaceous period. The specimen of this theropod dinosaur was first discovered in 2000 and later studied and named by vertebrate paleontologists Naish D, Martill D, and Frey E in 2004 as 'Mirischia asymmetrica'. A small predator, Mirischia shared its Santana ecosystem with larger predators like spinosaurid Irritator and Santanaraptor. It would typically hunt on the forest floor and feed on smaller animals like lizards, primitive mammals, and small pterosaurs. It is unfortunate that not much is known about this majestic beast as only one specimen of the animal has been discovered wherein the skeletal and post cranial structures are incomplete.

For more relatable content, check out these Ichthyovenator and Heterodontosaurus.

Mirischia Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Mirischia'?

Mirischia can be a tricky word to say out loud. The best way to pronounce it is by breaking this word phonetically into mih-riss-ke-ah.

What type of dinosaur was a Mirischia?

M. asymmetrica is a small theropod dinosaur that belongs to the clade Dinosauria. Theropods are identified by their three-toe limbs and hollow bones.

In which geological period did the Mirischia roam the earth?

It belonged to the Albian stage of the Early Cretaceous Period. Compared to the present age, the Early Cretaceous Period occurred some 1000-145 million years ago.

When did the Mirischia become extinct?

The exact data of the time, when the Mirischia became extinct, is unrecorded or unfounded. The existence of this small theropod dinosaur was only confirmed very recently in 2000 by paleontologists Martill and Frey when they came across a specimen of the animal. It was in 2004, that Martill and Frey along with Darren Naish named the type species Mirischia asymmetrica.

Where did a Mirischia live?

It is believed that M.asymmetrica would roam the area that is presently known as Brazil. The fossils of the species have been found in Ceará, a state in northeastern Brazil.

What was a Mirischia's habitat?

The Mirischia habitat is the Santana Formation of Brazil. The Santana Formation is a rock formation in the Araripe Basin of Brazil. It is now one of the best fossil sites with many undiscovered and well-preserved remains of various animals. The Mirischia happens to be one of them. The fossils found of the theropod suggest that the species inhabited the area during the early or lower cretaceous.

Who did a Mirischia live with?

Evidence from the Cretaceous Santana Formation suggests that Mirischia used to share its habitat with different reptiles, amphibians, pterosaurs, and other larger dinosaurs. Some of the dinosaurs and theropods that lived with the Mirischia are Irritator, Santanaraptor, and Angaturama. 

How long did a Mirischia live?

The exact data pertaining to the lifespan of the Mirischia dinosaur is currently unknown. According to studies, the food habits of dinosaurs played a significant role in their longevity. Meat-eating dinosaurs had a shorter lifespan while the dinosaurs that were herbivores enjoyed a longer life. The size of the dinosaur also comes into play here. The bigger they were in size, the greater was their lifespan. Based on the data available, it can be assumed that M.asymmetrica had an average lifespan.

How did they reproduce?

Not much content or data is available about the reproduction process of this theropod. Like most birds, reptiles, and insects dinosaurs too were oviparous animals. The female of the species would lay eggs and incubate them till they hatched. As it is with birds and reptiles, among dinosaurs, pterosaurs, and monotremes too only the female can reproduce by laying eggs. However, there have been no fossil remains of any reproductive organs of this animal, to shed light on their reproductive process.

Mirischia Fun Facts

What did a Mirischia look like?

In comparison to other carnivorous dinosaurs, the Mirischia was rather small in size, reaching up to a length of 6.9 ft (2.1 m) only. The existence of the dinosaur was only confirmed in 2000 by vertebrate paleontologists Martill and Frey so not much is known about the physical appearance of the beast. In 2004, Naish D, Martill D, and Frey E went on to name and describe the type species as 'Mirischia asymmetrica'. The name is derived from the Latin 'mirus', which means 'wonderful,' and Greek 'ischia', which means 'hip joint.' The specific name asymmetrica refers to the fact that the specimen's left and right ischium (the curved bone that forms the pelvis) are not identical. According to Naish et al., the Mirischia's ischia are asymmetrical. The species also sports a blue frill of feathers.

Paleontologist Darren Naish study and explore M.asymmetrica in detail in his book Tetrapod Zoology
*We've been unable to source an image of Mirischia and have used an image of Garudimimus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Mirischia, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].

How many bones did a Mirischia have?

The exact number of bones in the body of this theropod cannot be ascertained as skeleton remains on which the discoveries were made were not whole. Vertebrate paleontologists till today have only come across one specimen of M. asymmetrica on which all tests and studies have been carried out. The specimen obtained of the animal only consisted of the pelvis and incomplete hind limbs. However, an in-depth study has revealed much about its skeletal structure. The specimen included two posterior dorsal vertebrae, gastralia, a rib, partial ilia, pubes and ischia, partial thigh bones, and the upper sections of the right tibia and fibula. It was the discovery from this rough and incomplete skeleton remnant that helped Naish D, deduce that the ischia of the theropod are asymmetrical and thus the animal got its name Mirischia or 'wonderful ischia'. Even so, the skeletal structure of the animal was probably much more complex, as the partial post cranial remains of the specimen indicate that the specimen was only a subadult individual.

How did they communicate?

The exact communication process of M. asymmetrica is not yet known. Like most dinosaurs, the Mirischia too probably communicated vocally and visually. They probably engaged in territorial fights via grunts and bellows and may have used various postures and sounds during courtship as well. The beast was also known to share their habitat with other dinosaurs, pterosaurs, birds, and amphibians in the Cretaceous Santana formation. So, one may assume that all these different kinds of animals had somehow found a way to live together with or without having to send messages to each other.

How big was a Mirischia?

M. asymmetrica was rather smaller in size and reached only up to 6.9 ft (2.1 m) in length. It is smaller in size when compared to the Stokesosaurus. A theropod from the Jurassic age, the Stokesosaurus reaches up to a length of 10- 13 ft (3-4 m).

How fast could a Mirischia move?

The exact speed of this subspecies of Dinosauria is not known. But the small size of the animal indicates that they were faster and more agile than other predators and could thus easily hunt down their prey.

How much did a Mirischia weigh?

Compared to most of the other subspecies that belong to the clade Dinosauria, this particular theropod is rather lightweight, as it weighs only 100 lb (45 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

No sex-specific name has been allocated to this genus of compsognathid dinosaur.

What would you call a baby Mirischia?

Dinosaurs, like their reptile cousins the turtles and crocodiles, hatch from eggs, hence new baby dinosaurs are called hatchlings.

What did they eat?

The Mirischia diet is most likely comprised of small primitive mammals, lizards, smaller dinosaurs, or pterosaurs. Their small size works in their favor as it enables them to move faster and hunt down their prey.

How aggressive were they?

M. asymmetrica maintained a carnivorous diet and preyed on smaller animals and even dinosaurs, so it can be assumed that the animal is fairly aggressive in nature.

Did you know...

M. Asymmetrica is the only known compsognathid from America. However, paleontologist Darren Naish in his Tetrapod Zoology suggests that the dinosaur is in fact a tyrannosauroid.

The beast has been found to be closely related to the Compsognathus dinosaur that lived in Upper Jurassic Europe.

To this date, only one specimen of the theropod has been discovered and it was illegally sourced by a Brazil fossil dealer to a German Museum.

The specimen was considered especially unique because it had preserved some soft tissue remnants, including what seemed to be an air sac between the pubic and ischial bones.

Mirischia illium or ischia are asymmetrical, with an oval foramen on the left and an open notch in the same location on the right. The foramen splits the cranial third of the boot and is present distally.

How did the Mirischia protect itself?

The beast uses its brightly colored blue frill of feathers to daze predators. Also, although there is no accurate estimate of the number of teeth they possess, or of their sharpness, one can assume that the animal would use its teeth to bite and fend off attackers.

Did they hunt?

Like most carnivorous dinosaurs, the M.asymmetrica too hunted and preyed on smaller animals.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Chungkingosaurus facts and Crichtonsaurus facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable connect the dots dinosaur coloring pages.

Image one by Ademar Pereira do Nascimento.

Image two by J. Spencer.

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