Fun Agnosphitys Facts For Kids

Abhijeet Modi
Jan 30, 2023 By Abhijeet Modi
Originally Published on Sep 29, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Check out these amazing Agnosphitys facts to know more about this dinosauriform!
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.5 Min

Agnosphitys, meaning 'unknown begetter', is a genus of early dinosauriform with a lot of mystery related to its classification.

It is not a member of the clade Dinosauria, but is closely related to dinosaurs and was recently placed in the clade Silesauridae. The genus consists of only one species, A. cromhallensis, and lived during the Norian and Rhaetian ages of the Late Triassic.

They could have also survived until the Early Jurassic.

Its fossils were recovered from 'fissure-fill' deposits, which were caves or sinkholes during the Triassic period that were formed by the dissolution of Lower Carboniferous limestones. They were found from the Magnesian Conglomerate located in Avon, England and described by Nicholas Fraser, Kevin Padian, Gordon Walkden, and A. L. M Davis in early 2002.

The fossils were collected from two separate specimens.

A single ilium, with a depression called brevis fossa, was found in the first specimen, whereas a maxilla, a left humerus, and a left astragalus were found in the second specimen.

This animal was also once considered a theropod in a study of primitive dinosaurs, and was put in the clade Saurischia, as well as later as a member of Guaibasauridae which consists of basal members of Saurischia.

Keep reading this article to find out more about these basal dinosaurs that lived during the Norian stage of the Late Triassic period!

If you want to read more about dinosaurs, be sure to check out our Pukyongosaurus interesting facts for kids and Serendipaceratops interesting facts for kids pages.

Agnosphitys Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Agnosphitys '?

Agnosphitys can be pronounced as /ˌæɡnoʊsˈfaɪtɪs/and is phonetically pronounced as 'Ag-nos-fy-tiss. It is often misspelled as Agnostiphys or Agnosphytis.

What type of dinosaur was an Agnosphitys?

When discovered, this animal was not considered to belong to Dinosauria as according to Nicholas Fraser, Kevin Padian, Gordon Walkden, and A. L. M Davis, it had only two sacral vertebrae rather than the three that most dinosaurs possessed, and was said to be a basal dinosaur.

Other analyses of primitive dinosaurs found it to be a theropod or a basal member of the clade Saurischia.

It was also put in Guaibasauridae, which mostly consists of basal saurischians from the Late Triassic period.

In a more recent study of primitive dinosaurs and their relationships with other dinosaurs, Agnosphitys cromhallensis was assigned to Silesauridae, which is a clade within Dinosauriformes that consists of Triassic dinosauriforms and is a sister group to Dinosauria.

In which geological period did the Agnosphitys roam the Earth?

Fossil remains of a Agnosphitys were found in a fissure fill deposit that were caves or sinkholes during the Triassic. It was concluded that this dinosauriform lived during the Norian or Rhaetian stages of the Late Triassic period, almost 208.5-201.3 million years ago.

However, it is also speculated that it would have survived the Triassic-Jurassic extinction event and lived during the Hettangian stage of the Early Jurassic period.

When did the Agnosphitys become extinct?

It is possible that these animals went extinct due to the Triassic-Jurassic extinction event that occurred at the end of the Triassic period, but some say that they could have lived during the Early Jurassic as well.

Where did an Agnosphitys live?

Remains of the Agnosphitys have been found in Avon, England including its ilium, humerus, and astragalus. Hundreds of millions of years ago, England would have been a part of a big landmass, where this dinosauriform would have had a wide geographical range.

It would not have been endemic to England in the Late Triassic, but would have been free to move around to other places.

What was an Agnosphitys' habitat?

Not much is known about the habitat of this animal during the Late Triassic, but it is thought to have been a terrestrial environment.

Who did an Agnosphitys live with?

Due to the lack of more research into this animal, it is uncertain whether it lived independently of its own kind or formed groups. It could have crossed paths with the Silesaurus, which also lived during the Norian stage of the Late Triassic in modern-day Europe.

How long did an Agnosphitys live?

Although the lifespan of an Agnosphitys is not known, an average dinosaur has been estimated to have a life expectancy of an average dinosaur would have lied somewhere in the range of 30-40 years.

How did they reproduce?

There is a high chance that these dinosauriforms, like dinosaurs of Dinosauria, were oviparous and laid eggs from which their young ones emerged.

Agnosphitys Fun Facts

What did the Agnosphitys look like?

Agnosphitys, meaning 'unknown begetter', would have had a long neck and was probably quadrupedal, meaning it walked on all four legs like many members of Dinosauria. The remains of the Agnosphitys that were recovered consist of its ilium, humerus, and astragalus.

It is thought to have looked similar to dinosaurs but was considered to be a basal dinosaur because it had two sacral vertebrae, and a dinosaur usually had three or more.

It had a brevis fossa, which is a depression on its ilium.

This brevis fossa was well-defined, and a similar depression was also found on its astragalus, which was an ankle bone. Though it is not known if its teeth were sharp, there were serrations or denticles found on them.

Agnosphitys was a quadrupedal animal that had a long neck and long, slender legs.
We've been unable to source an image of Agnosphitys and have used an image of Silesaurus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Agnosphitys, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at hello@kidadl.com.

How many bones did an Agnosphitys have?

A complete Agnosphitys skeleton has not yet been recovered, and the total number of bones in this basal dinosaur cannot be correctly estimated.

How did they communicate?

Like other members of Dinosauria, it could have communicated using various forms of vocalizations or body language.

How big was an Agnosphitys?

With the help of the fossils that have been recovered so far, the average body length of this animal has been estimated to have been 27.5 in (70 cm).

How fast could an Agnosphitys move?

Since these were fairly small animals with a slender build, they could have been agile and fast, but their exact speed is not currently known.

How much did an Agnosphitys weigh?

An average adult A. cromhallensis could have weighed around 8.81 lb (4 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

There were no sex-specific names for the male and female animals of this genus.

What would you call a baby Agnosphitys?

A baby Agnosphitys cromhallensis could have been called a hatchling when it had just hatched out of its egg.

What did they eat?

Not much is known about the diet of this animal, but many silesaurids were omnivorous and would have fed on plants as well as other animals or insects.

How aggressive were they?

It is uncertain whether this basal dinosaur was aggressive but a similar animal, Silesaurus, is thought to have been a pretty meek and nervous creature.

Did you know...

It is possible that the fossils or remains of Agnosphitys found in Avon, England may belong to more than one species. It is one of the reasons why the classification of this animal has been so difficult in the past.

What does the term Agnosphitys mean?

The name, Agnosphitys, was given to it by Nicholas Fraser, Kevin Padian, Gordon Walkden and A. L. M Davis in 2002, and is derived from Greek words for 'unknown' and 'father or begetter'. Its name translates to 'unknown begetter'.

This name is meant to be a reference to the fact that while it was being described, the origin of it was not known. Its relation to Dinosauria had not yet been discovered and its classification was a difficult task at the time.

How many species do the Agnosphitys have?

Currently, the genus, Agnosphitys, consists of a single species, which is also the type species for this genus, Agnosphitys cromhallensis.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! To know more about other dinosaurs, check out our Archaeoceratops interesting facts for kids and Geranosaurus fun facts for kids] pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Agnosphitys coloring pages.

Main image by Nobu Tamura

Second image by Shalom

*We've been unable to source an image of Agnosphitys and have used an image of Silesaurus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Agnosphitys, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at hello@kidadl.com.

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Written by Abhijeet Modi

Master of Computer Science

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Abhijeet ModiMaster of Computer Science

An experienced and innovative entrepreneur and creative writer, Abhijeet holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Computer Application from Birla Institute of Technology, Jaipur. He co-founded an e-commerce website while developing his skills in content writing, making him an expert in creating blog posts, website content, product descriptions, landing pages, and editing articles. Passionate about pushing his limits, Abhijeet brings both technical expertise and creative flair to his work.

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