Fun Zupaysaurus Facts For Kids

Abhijeet Modi
Jan 16, 2023 By Abhijeet Modi
Originally Published on Oct 04, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Zupaysaurus was a medium-sized theropod dinosaur.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.2 Min

Zupaysaurus was a medium-sized theropod dinosaur genus and would have lived almost 228-208.5 million years ago.

Its fossil remains were recovered during an expedition led by Guillermo Rougier, from the Los Colorados Formation that is located in the La Rioja province of Argentina. These remains included a very well-preserved skull, the right shoulder girdle, the lower right leg and ankle, and some vertebrae.

Initially, the skull was observed to have two parallel crests running the length of its snout, but the crests were later discovered to be bones that form the rim of the eye socket, otherwise known as lacrimal bones, that had moved out of place when the dinosaur's fossils were buried below the surface for millions of years.

When recovered from their excavation site, these bones looked like the skull bore two thin parallel crests that are usually present in dinosaurs such as Dilophosaurus.

There was also a ridge on its skull that may have been used for species or sex recognition among these dinosaurs. This dinosaur would have been an excellent predator of other smaller dinosaurs that lived during the same time period.

Keep reading this article to know more about this dinosaur from the Late Triassic period!

If you want to read about other interesting dinosaurs, be sure to check out our Hesperonychus interesting facts for kids and Bellusaurus fun facts for kids pages.

Zupaysaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Zupaysaurus'?

Zupaysaurus, meaning 'devil lizard', has a relatively simple pronunciation and can be phonetically pronounced as 'Zoo-pay-sawr-us'.

What type of dinosaur was a Zupaysaurus?

Zupaysaurus can be considered to be a genus of early theropod dinosaurs living during the Late Triassic. When it was first discovered, the dinosaur was thought to have been a member of the clade Tetanurae.

This group consists of many groups of theropods such as Megalosauroids, allosauroids, and tyrannosauroids. However, the dinosaur was later assigned to the group of Coelophysoidea and then to the clade Dilophosauridae. More recently, its classification has been within a group within Theropoda that consists of Dilophosaurus, Cryolophosaurus, tetanurans, and ceratosaurs.

In which geological period did the Zupaysaurus roam the earth?

From the strata its fossils were excavated from, it can be determined that Zupaysaurus would have lived on Earth during the Norian stage of the Late Triassic period. It has also been thought to have existed till the Rhaetian stage, but would probably have vanished by the beginning of the Early Jurassic period.

When did the Zupaysaurus become extinct?

Since these dinosaurs lived in the Norian and Rhaetian stages of the Triassic period, it is highly likely that their population could have been severely affected by the Triassic-Jurassic extinction event that occurred at the end of the Rhaetian stage of the Triassic period.

Thus, it can be concluded that these dinosaurs would not have been found during the Early Jurassic period.

Where did a Zupaysaurus live?

The remains of Zupaysaurus including its skull, right shoulder girdle, vertebrae from its neck, back, and hips, and some other bones from its right leg and ankle were found in modern-day Argentina. They were discovered in the Los Colorados Formation in the province of La Rioja.

During the Triassic period, it would have lived on the supercontinent of Pangaea, as it would not have broken off into continents by then.

What was a Zupaysaurus's habitat?

The region from where they were recovered is thought to have been made up of floodplains. These dinosaurs would have lived in a terrestrial habitat with a lot of water bodies and rainfall.

Who did a Zupaysaurus live with?

It is likely that this dinosaur lived alone or independent of its own kind. This might be due to its carnivorous diet.

How long did a Zupaysaurus live?

The lifespan of a Zupaysaurus is not yet known due to a lack of fossil evidence and research.

How did they reproduce?

These dinosaurs were oviparous and would have laid eggs from which their young ones would have emerged.

Zupaysaurus Fun Facts

What did a Zupaysaurus look like?

Zupaysaurus, pronounced 'Zoo-pay-sawr-us', would have had a long neck, which is not one of the characteristics that theropods of this kind usually have, as shown by parts of its neck vertebrae that were recovered.

It was first thought that it may have had two crests on the skull, but a deeper look into the structure of the skull revealed that those structures were not crests, in fact, the bones surrounding its eye socket that had moved out of place during the process of being fossilized below the ground all those millions of years.

It also had a ridge on top of the skull. Bones of the upper jaw were observed to be quite similar to those of Dilophosaurus, as both of them had a gap between the teeth in the lower and upper jaw that formed a notch.

It would have had around 24 teeth in its mouth.

Among the remains of its skull, neck vertebrae, and legs, vertebrae were also found from its back and hips.

Additional material of a smaller dinosaur was also found nearby but has not yet been attributed to Zupaysaurus.

The skull of Zupaysaurus initially showed two crest-like structures on top, but were later identified to be lacrimal bones that had moved upwards during fossilization.

How many bones did a Zupaysaurus have?

Only a very few remains that belong to Zupaysaurus have been found and are currently known to science, which is why the total number of bones this dinosaur possessed cannot be evaluated.

How did they communicate?

The type species, Z. rougieri, may have had two parallel crests running the length of its snout, and a ridge on the top of the skull.

The presence of these crests on the skull was one of the most common characteristics in theropods, and are thought to have been used by these dinosaurs to recognize each other and their genders.

How big was a Zupaysaurus?

Although a full skeleton has not yet been found, Zupaysaurus can be considered to have been a medium-sized theropod. An adult of its kind would have had an average body length in the range of 13-20 ft (4-6 m).

How fast could a Zupaysaurus move?

The exact speed with which a dinosaur of the species, Z. rougieri, moved cannot be quantified. However, it could have been an agile and fast carnivore, given its slender build.

How much did a Zupaysaurus weigh?

The weight of an average adult Z. rougieri has been estimated to have been around 154-550 lb (70-250 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

There were no sex-specific names for the dinosaurs under this classification.

What would you call a baby Zupaysaurus?

Like most other dinosaur babies, a baby Zupaysaurus could have been called a hatchling.

What did they eat?

Zupaysaurus is known to have been a carnivore and was considered a bipedal predator of any other smaller dinosaurs that would have lived during the same time period. Some dinosaurs that the Zupaysaurus could have preyed upon include Lessemsaurus, Riojasaurus, and Coloradisaurus.

How aggressive were they?

There is a high chance that these dinosaurs would have been territorial and aggressive, given their carnivorous diet.

Did you know...

All the fossil remains of the one specimen of Zupaysaurus that were found during the expedition have since been kept and preserved in the National University of La Rioja that is situated in La Rioja, Argentina.

What does the term Zupaysaurus mean?

The name, Zupaysaurus has been derived from Quechua and Latin words, roughly translating to 'devil lizard'. The type species, Z. rougieri, has been named after Gfuillermo Rougier, who led the expedition in the Los Colorados Formation that discovered the fossils of this theropod.

Was Zupaysaurus bipedal?

Yes, like many theropods, Zupaysaurus walked on its hind legs and could have been considered a bipedal predator of many animals that would have been found in the Triassic period.

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 Nemegtosaurus facts and Denversaurus facts for kids.

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

Image two by FunkMonk (Michael B. H.)

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Written by Abhijeet Modi

Master of Computer Science

Abhijeet Modi picture

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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