Eoraptor - Classification

Classification

Eoraptor is regarded as one of the most primitive dinosaurs. The precise placement of Eoraptor within Dinosauria has been unstable, with opinion often varying between a basal saurischian and a basal theropod. When it was first described by Sereno and Forster in 1993, it was regarded as a theropod, based on its "functionally tridactyl hand" and other features. In 2011, as part of the team that described Eodromaeus, Martinez and others found Eoraptor to be a basal sauropodomorph, with characteristic features for that group. Michael Benton has expressed his hesitation to this, and claims that it is "quite a shift" to remove Eoraptor from the theropods and then place it in Sauropodomorpha. Nesbitt and Bergman, when describing Daemonosaurus, also classified Eoraptor as a theropod. A subsequent study by Apaldetti, Martinez, Alcober, and Pol published in 2011 found Eoraptor to be a eusaurischian close to sauropodomorphs and theropods, though was unable to resolve which of the two branches, if either, it fell within.

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