Herrerasaurus

Herrerasaurus

The name of this dinosaur, as you have already imagined it, means Herrera’s Lizard. Only one species is known from e´l, this dinosaur lived a long time ago in the Ladiniense, which happened during the Middle Triassic, 231.4 million years ago in Argentina. For a long time they were not very sure about their classification, this because they had very few dinosaur remains and therefore it was difficult to complete any theory. However with the discovery of the head and the rest of the bones was better classified and it was discovered that it was an early theropod. It was a medium-sized lizard that had a modest total length of 6b meters and was approximately one meter high. It could weigh up to 340 kilos and is in fact one of the most primitive dinosaurs on record.

This dinosaur was described by Osvaldo Alfredo Reig in 1963 and only one species has been found. This unique species was found in 1959 during a paleontological expedition of the National University of Tucumán. This was achieved thanks to the fact that Victorino Herrera (hence the name Herrerasaurus), a member of the expedition, found the first remains. It is worth mentioning that it was in this same place that the Eoraptor was later found. At first it was thought to be a Carnosaurus, until it was classified as a prosauropod in 1970.

In 1988 a complete skull was found, this provoked a new study and deepening of the gender, although it has also brought some controversies related to its classification and gender.

His teeth were large and saw-shaped, the teeth were perfect for eating meat, and his neck was flexible enough to be an excellent hunter. In the upper part it had about 20 teeth and in the back they were much bigger of this type it would have about 5 as canines, that is to say pointed, also in the whole palate it had small teeth which made it very fearful, this biting machine could kill any prey in a very short time.

Because of its size we can infer that it hunted small and medium animals, however, being a primitive dinosaur there were probably not many other dinosaurs to eat, surely its favorite bites were rhinosaurids and synapses. In addition, he had to watch out for the larger and probably more common predators of the rauisuquianos.

An interesting thing is that fossilized manure has been found, this is called coprolite, in it have been found remains of bones, however no plant fragments, this tells us that they did not eat them and especially that they had the ability to digest bone.

What makes Herrerasaurus special in the first place is that they gave us key clues to understand the development of dinosaurs. What we can learn from it is a theory called monophilia, which means that all dinosaurs come from a single creature, i.e. they have a common ancestor. This theory was proposed by Robert Bakker. This theory is based on the skull of some dinosaurs, of course one of the most important is the Herrerasaurus.

His skull is very special because it tells us about some special features that support the theory. Its skull did not have many characteristics of a more evolved dinosaur, so the idea that it was much older than them is reinforced. It has a well-developed muzzle that covered about half of its head. It has five holes in the skull including some holes that helped with the weight of the head. Also thanks to his jaws it was discovered that he had a compression bite that is common in many lizards today.

The Herrerasaurus enjoys great popularity in the southern cone of the American continent, its remains can be found in various museums around Argentina, there are even some excellent representations in some parks and museums. It is one of the most famous and recognized dinosaurs in Argentina, especially because it is a local dinosaur, in the museums you can find many toys with their characteristics and in the streets you can see t-shirts with the Herrerasaurus.