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The fossil of Ignavusaurus (Geological Magazine)


Ignavusaurus (Greek for "cowardly lizard"); pronounced ig-NAY-voo-SORE-us


Woodlands of Africa

Historical Period:

Early Jurassic (190 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 5 feet long and 50-75 pounds



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Small size; long neck and tail


About Ignavusaurus:

Despite its name--Greek for "cowardly lizard"--there's no reason to believe that Ignavusaurus was any less brave than any other early prosauropod, the ancient cousins of the sauropods (though at only 5 feet long and 50 to 75 pounds, this gentle herbivore would have made a quick snack for the hungry theropods of its day). The "coward" part actually derives from the region of Africa where this dinosaur was found, the name of which translates roughly as "home of the coward's father."

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