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The Dinosauria$
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David Weishampel

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520242098

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520242098.001.0001

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(p.47) Three Ceratosauria
The Dinosauria

Ronald S. Tykoski

Timothy Rowe

University of California Press

Ceratosauria represents the first widespread and diverse radiation of theropod dinosaurs comprising two main sister clades, Neoceratosauria and Coelophysoidea. This chapter discusses the diagnostic features, phylogenetic placement, and paleobiology of ceratosaurians. The fossil record for Ceratosauria spans a minimum of 155 million years, from the late Carnian of the Late Triassic to the end of the Cretaceous. Ceratosaurs had an essentially global distribution, their remains being found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. Ceratosaurs evolved into a broad range of sizes and body forms, from lightly built, diminutive taxa such as Segisaurus (1 to 1.5 m in length) to the large abelisaurids, such as Carnotaurus (10 to 11 m). Several coelophysoid taxa were collected from mass burials, where multiple individuals were preserved together. In particular, Syntarsus rhodesiensis is known from at least thirty individuals found at localities in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Keywords:   Ceratosauria, Neoceratosauria, Coelophysoidea, ceratosaurs, Segisaurus, abelisaurids, Syntarsus rhodesiensis

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