Dinosauria Online

Say hello to: Mussaurus

[ Mussaurus Fossil ]

MUSSAURUS (moos-SAWR-us) "Mouse Lizard" (Latin mus = mouse + Greek sauros = lizard, referring to the very small size of the specimen)

The smallest dinosaur ever found. It appears to be a newly hatched baby PROSAUROPOD but was very close to being a primitive SAUROPOD. Mussaurus was about 8 inches (20 cm) long. The eggs of the little Saruopod were about 1 inch (3 cm) in size. The skull of this tiny four-legged SAURISCHIAN was only 1.25 inches (3.2 cm) long. It was very much like the skulls of sauropods. A nearly complete Mussaurus skeleton (lacking only the TAIL and rib cage) was found in a NEST that contained remains of four more individuals and several large eggshell fragments. Mussaurus and the nest were found in Argentina. The rock in which it was found is either very late Triassic or very early Jurassic. This dinosaur may have been a hatchling of the prosauropod COLORADIA found in the same formation.

Classification: Prosauropoda,Sauropodomorpha, Saurischia