There are so many different creatures in the Jurassic and Triassic eras. But perhaps the most interesting one in terms of science, description, and analysis was the Sarahsaurus. But what made this dinosaur one of the most unique in the history of science? It was their hands, of course! So many dinosaurs in Triassic history either had four legs or two shorter hands with little use. But the Sarahsaurus dinosaur defied all known anatomy and systematics of vertebrate paleontology thus far. It had huge, claw-like hands that enabled it to climb trees, something unheard of in the science of dinosaur anatomy and systematics thus far. It is assumed to have appeared due to a dispersal event in South America and evolved separately from the other two sauropodomorph dinosaurs.
These North American dinosaurs were primordial members of the sauropodomorphs lineage, including the more differentiated sauropods – gigantic four-legged plant-eaters with big tails and necks. The Sarahsaurus had an extended neck and a strong physique, similar to sauropods
If you want to know more about the creatures from the earliest era of history, the science behind the event that made them go extinct, and various other fun facts, then do not forget to check out Rahonavis and Sauropelta too! So read on, and do not forget to share these facts with friends too!
The word Sarahsaurus is pronounced at 'Sah-rah-sore-us'.
Sarahsaurus aurifontanalis is a basal sauropodomorph dinosaur genus that existed in the Early Jurassic period.
Sarahsaurus aurifontanalis, initially described by paleontologists Timothy B. Rowe, Hans-Dieter Sues, and Robert R. Reisz, lived in Arizona (North America) approximately 185 million years ago in the Early Jurassic period.
According to evolutionary paleontology and its description of the Sarahsaurus rex, it can be safely assumed that this vertebrate went extinct by the end of the late Jurassic era - and the earliest time of the Triassic era.
All specimens of Sarahsaurus were obtained from the Early Jurassic Kayenta Formation nearby Gold Spring, Arizona, in North America.
The sauropodomorph, Sarahsaurus aurifontanalis, was a car-sized dinosaur that lived during the Early Jurassic Period when the desert was covered with lush green vegetation. It's described as a dinosaur that looks like a ground sloth that survived in a terrestrial habitat.
Since there has been very little information discovered, it is assumed that they most likely lived by themselves. There has been no current evidence of a group gathering.
Sarahsaurus aurifontanalis, though obtained fossils were not complete, existed from Sinemurian Age through Pliensbachian Age.
When looking at evolutionary paleontology, such as anatomy displays in museums and other classifications, it is difficult to determine how they reproduce. However, paleontology experts and other evolutionary scientists have drawn theories on how their reproduction might be similar to that of current-day reptiles, given their similar anatomy and classification.
This dinosaur (Sarahsaurus) is the fourth basal sauropodomorph dinosaur to have been classified in North America. The other three sauropodomorph dinosaurs are Ammosaurus, Anchisaurus of the Early Jurassic from the Connecticut River Valley, and Seitaad (from Utah) of the succeeding Navajo Sandstone from Early Jurassic Utah. The outer naris (the aperture in the skull for the nose) was just half the size of the orbits (eye socket). Another opening existed between the frontal and the supraoccipital, which runs behind the parietal in the back of the skull. The coracoid and scapula were unfused in the holotype specimens, implying that the creature was not fully grown.
All specimens of these dinosaurs were recovered from the Kayenta Formation and identified by Timothy B. Rowe. The genus is named after a fairly complete and articulated skeleton with a preserved head that is fragmented and disarticulated. It's impossible to know how many bones these dinosaurs had because they don't have a full skeleton to account for.
Since there have been no remains of their vocal cords or any similar classification, it is difficult to determine if they communicate, and if they did, the methods for it. Their skull has also been analyzed at great length, but there have been no definite answers.
The Sarahsaurus size (wildlife) was about 13 ft (4 m). In contrast, the Heterodontosaurus was much smaller, with a length of approximately 4 ft (1.2 m). They have often been compared to cars, particularly XUVs, when talking about their size. This would make them roughly the same as a young elephant.
It is not known how fast these creatures could move. They were, however, known for their ability to climb trees and other tall structures. Since they were not as big as the other dinosaurs around, they may have compensated for the size in terms of having a high speed of travel, but science has been unable to give any concrete answers.
The average weight of these dinosaurs was about 440 lb (199.5 kg).
The male and female of these dinosaurs found that fossils were nearly complete with poorly preserved heads and group jointly with sauropodomorphs of South Africa, with no particular title.
The baby species of these dinosaurs, relatives of Brontosaurus and Brachiosaurus, don't have any specific name.
Termites living in big, communal colonies were becoming more common by the early Jurassic. The Sarahsaurus may have been an omnivore, supplementing its plant-based diet with termites and other tiny animals. Termite nests were broken open using the hands and nails. The animal was known for having enormous, powerful hands, indicating that it was an omnivore.
The Sarahsaurus, which was first described by three paleontologists, Timothy B. Rowe, Hans-Dieter Sues, and Robert R. Reisz, measures just over 13 ft (4 m) in length and is one of the biggest dinosaurs recorded from the Early Jurassic Kayenta Formation (North America). On the other hand, the Sarahsaurus could have been preyed upon by the meat-eating dinosaur Dilophosaurus, one of the biggest recorded carnivores of Early Jurassic North America, whose fossils have been discovered in the Kayenta Formation. These sauropodomorphs appear to group closely related by sauropodomorphs from South America and South Africa.
The North American species of sauropodomorph, Sarahsaurus aurifontanalis, was an omnivore who preferred a plant-based diet. It could, however, hunt little termites as well. It is one of the few known primitive sauropodomorphs (forerunners and relatives to the succeeding large sauropods) from North America, with Seitaad and Anchisaurus as other taxa.
The dinosauromorphs were among these groups, little creatures more closely related to these dinosaurs than any other historic reptiles group. One branch of these dinosaurs led directly to the first genuine dinosaurs about 230 million years ago.
Sarah Butler is honored with the genus name Sarahsaurus. After Gold Spring, Arizona (North America), where the holotype fossils were discovered, the species name means 'gold of the spring.' It was a medium-sized basal sauropodomorph with a long vertebral column that measured more than 10 ft (3.1 m) in length, making it one of a kind.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about other creatures from our Puertasaurus facts, or Heterodontosaurus facts for kids.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Sarahsaurus coloring pages.
Main image by Jorge Jaramillo.
Second image by NobuTamura.
*We've been unable to source an image of a Sarahsaurus and have used an image of a Tyrannosaurus Rex instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a Sarahsaurus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].