Staurikosaurus - Classification

Classification

Newer research by Sues et al. (2011) supports that Staurikosaurus and the related genus Herrerasaurus are theropods and evolved after the sauropod line had split from the Theropoda. Mortimer points out that Benedetto (1973) and Galton (1985) were the first to recognize that Staurikosaurus and Herrerasaurus were more closely related to each other than to sauropodomorphs or avepods, placing them both in the Herrerasauridae and Herrerasauria. Staurikosaurus differs from Herrerasaurus because of its considerably smaller size (femur length of 23cm vs. 47cm). Sereno et al. (1993) concluded that Staurikosaurus was not a theropod and considered it a basal saurischian outside Theropoda and Sauropodamorpha.Staurikosaurus was originally incorrectly assigned by Colbert to Palaeosauriscidae, a defunct family based largely on Efraasia, a prosauropod dinosaur. All major phylogenetic analyses since 1994 have assigned Staurikosaurus to the clade Herrerasauridae, which is the current scientific consensus on classification of this genus. Below is a cladogram based on the phylogenetic analysis conducted by Sues et al. in 2011, showing the relationships of Staurikosaurus:

Theropoda
Herrerasauridae

Staurikosaurus




Herrerasaurus



Chindesaurus






Eoraptor




Daemonosaurus




Tawa


Neotheropoda
Coelophysidae

Megapnosaurus



Coelophysis





Liliensternus




Zupaysaurus




Cryolophosaurus




Dilophosaurus



Jurassic theropods











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