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Aetosaurs, (meaning "Eagle Lizards") are an extinct clade of heavily armored, medium to large-sized Late Triassic quadrupedal archosaurs that were mostly herbivorous. Aetosaurs are widely characterized by their dorsal and ventral surfaces being encased in parallel rows of subrectangular osteoderms, some of which sported spikes in some species. Aetosaurs ranged in size from 1–5 meters (3–16 ft), with the average size being between 2.5–3 meters (8–10 ft). Some of the smallest aetosaurs were Aetosaurus and Coahomasuchus, reaching no more than a meter in length. Aetosaur fossils were first documented by paleontologist Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) in 1844, although they were originally attributed armored fish, instead of archosaurs. Two distinct subdivisions of aeotosaurs are currently recognized, the Desmatosuchinae and the Aetosaurinae, based primarily on differences in the morphology of the bony scutes of the two groups. Aetosaurs first appeared during the Late Carnian epoch of the Late Triassic, roughly the same time that phytosaurs and ornithosuchids appeared. From that point on, they quickly diversified, into various genera, with the most notable being Aetosaurus, Stagonolepis, and Desmatosuchus, and existed for nearly the entirety of the Late Triassic. Aetosaurs quickly became widespread across the the supercontinent Pangaea, with their fossils being found in Europe (Scotland, Germany), India, Northern Africa, North (United States) and South America (Argentina), Greenland and Madagascar. (Read more...)

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Paul Sereno2

Paul Sereno is an American paleontologist who is the discoverer of several new dinosaur species on several continents. He has conducted excavations at sites as varied as Inner Mongolia, Argentina, Morocco and Niger. He is a professor at the University of Chicago and a National Geographic "explorer-in-residence." Sereno's most widely publicized discovery is that of a nearly complete specimen of Sarcosuchus imperator (popularly known as SuperCroc) at Gadoufaoua in the Tenere desert of Niger. Other major discoveries include Eoraptor - the oldest known dinosaur fossil, Jobaria, the first good skull of Carcharodontosaurus iguidensis, Afrovenator, Suchomimus and the African pterosaur. (Read more...)

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Diagram showing the appearances and relative sizes of 18 basal species of Ceratopsians (frilled, beaked dinosaurs typified by Triceratops). Animals are shown in order of geologic stage from left to right and top to bottom, with species names and stage information as annotation.

Ceratopsians were beaked herbivores who lived in what are now North America and Asia, during the Cretaceous Period. Early members such as Psittacosaurus were small and bipedal. Later members, including ceratopsids like Centrosaurus and Triceratops, became very large quadrupeds and developed elaborate facial horns and a neck frill.

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