Pisanosaurus was only about 3 feet (1 meter) long, and weighed perhaps around
10 to 20 pounds (4.5 to 9 kilograms). It was a herbivore (ate plants), and walked
bipedally. Only one species (Pisanosaurus mertii) of Pisanosaurus is currently known,
and even this is only known from a single incomplete
skeleton - so many details of the creature are somewhat speculative and/or subject
Pisanosaurus was first described by Rodolfo Casamiquela in 1967. Its name means
"Pisano lizard", which was chosen to honor the Argentina paleontologist,
Juan A. Pisano.
Pisanosaurus lived in Argentina around the same time as the
and it has been suggested that Herrerasaurus may have preyed upon Pisanosaurus.
Pisanosaurus is one of the earliest known ornithischian dinosaurs. and there has been some debate about how to classify it. Moreover, there have even been suggestions (Paul Sereno 1991) that the Pisanosaurus fossil might be a "chimera" (a mix of fossils from more than one animal, although more recent studies suggest this is not the case.
"Pisanosaurus" means "Pisano lizard". This name was chosen to honor Juan A. Pisano, an Argentine paleontologist (Pisanosaurus was discovered in Argentina).
Pisanosaurus was a member of the Ornithischia ("bird-hipped") order of dinosaurs. What this means, is that although Pisanosaurus was not closely related to birds, it did have similarly shaped pelvic bones.
Pisanosaurus lived between about 228 million years ago and 216 million years ago, during the Triassic period.
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