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Allosauroidea
Fossil range: Middle JurassicLate Cretaceous, 176-93 Ma
Allosaurus skull SDNHM
Allosaurus skull at the San Diego Natural History Museum.
Scientific classification

Class

Reptilia

Superorder

Dinosauria

Order

Saurischia

Suborder

Theropoda

Infraorder

Carnosauria

Superfamily

Allosauroidea
Marsh, 1878

Families


Allosauroidea is a superfamily or clade of theropod dinosaurs which contains three families — the Sinraptoridae, Carcharodontosauridae and Allosauridae. The oldest-known allosauroid, Sinraptor dongi, appeared in the Middle Jurassic (Bathonian stage) of China, and the latest-known survivors of the family are the carcharodontosaurids of the Late Cretaceous, Cenomanian stage). Allosauroids had long, narrow skulls, large orbits, three-fingered hands, and usually had "horns" or ornamental crests on their heads. The most famous and best understood allosauroid is the North American genus Allosaurus.

SystematicsEdit

TaxonomyEdit

PhylogenyEdit

The clade Allosauroidea was originally proposed by Phil Currie and Zhao (1993; p. 2079), and later used as an undefined stem-based taxon by Paul Sereno (1997). Sereno (1998; p. 64) was the first to provide a stem-based definition for the Allosauroidea, defining the clade as "All neotetanurans closer to Allosaurus than to Neornithes." Kevin Padian (2007) used a node-based definition, defined the Allosauroidea as Allosaurus, Sinraptor, their most recent common ancestor, and all of its descendants. Thomas R. Holtz and colleagues (2004; p. 100) and Phil Currie and Ken Carpenter (2000), among others, have followed this node-based definition. However, in some analyses (such as Currie & Carpenter, 2000), the placement of the carcharodontosaurids relative to the allosaurids and sinraptorids is uncertain, and therefore it is uncertain whether or not they are allosauroids (Currie & Carpenter, 2000).

The cladogram presented here follows the 2000 analysis by Currie and Carpenter.[2]

unnamed

Carcharodontosaurus



Giganotosaurus



Unnamed species



unnamed

Acrocanthosaurus



Allosaurus



Saurophaganax



Epanterias



Unnamed species




Metriacanthosauridae


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ReferencesEdit


  • Currie, P. J., and X. Zhao. 1993. A new carnosaur (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Upper Jurassic of Xinjiang, People's Republic of China. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 30:2037-2081.
  • Holtz, T. R., Jr. and Osmólska H. 2004. Saurischia; pp. 21-24 in D. B. Weishampel, P. Dodson, and H. Osmólska (eds.), The Dinosauria (2nd ed.), University of California Press, Berkeley.
  • Sereno, P. C. 1997. The origin and evolution of dinosaurs. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 25:435-489.
  • Sereno, P. C. 1998. A rationale for phylogenetic definitions, with application to the higher-level taxonomy of Dinosauria. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie Abhandlungen 210:41-83.

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