Chapter

Basal Ornithischia

David B. Norman, Lawrence M. Witmer and David B. Weishampel

in The Dinosauria

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2004 | ISBN: 9780520242098
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520941434 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520242098.003.0017
Basal Ornithischia

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This chapter presents a cladistic analysis of the phylogenetic relationships of basal Ornisthischia. Ornithischia is a stem-based taxon defined as all dinosaurs closer to Iguanodon than to Cetiosaurus. Basal ornithischians includes Lesothosaurus, Pisanosaurus, and Technosaurus, Basal ornithischians are small (1-2 m long), obligate bipeds that exhibit anatomical features normally linked with a herbivourous diet. Because fossil remains of basal ornithicians are rare, little can be said about their paleoecology. Local environments from which these animals derive represent chiefly semiarid habitats. As herbivores, they may have been active foragers of ground cover and shrubby vegetation.

Keywords: cladistic analysis; basal Ornisthischia; Ornithischia; Lesothosaurus; Pisanosaurus; Technosaurus

Chapter.  8787 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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