+--Abelisauria +--Noasauridae | |--Liagbueino | +--Noasaurus +--Abelisauroidea +--+--Xenotarsosaurus +--+--Elaphrosaurus +--Abelisauridae |--+--Majungasaurus crenatissimus |--Carnotaurinae | |--Carnotaurus sastrei | |--Indosaurus matleyi | +--Majungatholus atopus +--Abelisaurinae |--Abelisaurus comahuensis +--Indosuchus
Abelisaurids are odd taxa with fully fused ankles (having the proximal tarsals fused to the tibia and fibula, and the distal tarsal fused to the metatarsals, forming a tibiotarsus and tarsometatarsus, repspectively) unusually short arms, skulls with postorbitals and lachrymals touching above the orbit, a process of the postorbital pointing forward below the eye and almost touching the lachrymal, a very large external mandibular fenestra with loose contact between the dentary and post-dentary bones, very small or absent neural spines on the cervical vertbrae, and a few other details. The most striking example of the abelisaurids is Carnotaurus from Argentina (below), a carnotaurine taxon with a very short skull and two large processes of the frontals projecting over the eyes, giving it the appearance of a bull, hence the name. Similar taxa, such as Indosaurus from India, have robust frontal processes that may be the bases of horn or bosses, and Majungatholus from Madagascar, with fused frontals forming a single upright "horn" or boss. Abelisaurines have longer skulls without any apparent ornamentation as in Carnotaurus, like Abelisaurus, a giant form that may have reached 35ft or more, and Indosuchus, a recently redescribed form with an intermediate skull.
Carnotaurus sastrei -- Bonaparte, 1986
The Coelophysidae, from the top: Coelophysis bauri,
Syntarsus rhodesiensis, Syntarsus kayentakatae,
Liliensternus liliensterni, and Dilophosaurus wetherilli.
Liliensternus is known from vary incomplete cranial remains, but may have supported cranial ornamentation as in S. kayentakatae and D. wetherilli. A second species od Dilophosaurus, D. sinensis, may or may not pertain to Dilophosaurus, and I have not seen material to restore it. Other coelophysoids are not known by cranial material or the material is too broken or fragmentary to suggest a restoration: Eocoelophysis, Camposaurus, Segisaurus, Procompsognathus, or Gojirasaurus.
NOTE: Padian and Sampson (1999) and Novas (1998) have suggested that Ceratosauria is polyphyletic, and so this page will feature a perspective on this issue in the future and will reflect the suggestion futher.
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