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Herrerasaurus – A Potentially Fast Runner

Quick Bio​

The Herrerasaurus was first discovered by a paleontologist & rancher in 1958, in South America. Its name means, simply, “Herrera’s Lizard.” There is not much detail available on it, but it was estimated it could run at a fast speed due to its stiffer tail.

Quick Facts​

  • Name: Herrera’s Lizard
  • Period: Late Triassic
  • Diet: Carnivore, small/med herbivores
  • Size: 6m (20 ft)
  • Weight: 350kg (770 lb)

Herrerasaurus – Discovery & What Is Known About It?​

Discovering the Herrerasaurus​

The Herrera (a short form of its name) is a smaller theropod, believed to be a Carnosaur at first, but then was debated over a 30-year period afterward. The dinosaur was originally discovered over fragmentary remains, with many parts missing. It was also thought to be a basal theropod, basal sauropodomorph, basal saurischian, and even considered at one point to not be a dinosaur at all, but a type of Archosaur.

What Is Known About it?​

It came originally from the outcrops near the city of San Juan, in Argentina, in 1959. These rocks also yielded the Eoraptor, as well. There are two partial skeletons that are being used for research on this dinosaur, which they thought were two different species, but then finalized their findings on both belonging to Herrerasaurus.

Herrerasaurus’ Growth & Size​

This dinosaur grew to be about 6 meters (20 feet) long and weighed an estimated 350 KG (or 770 Lbs). Adult skulls were found to be approximately 56cm (22 in) long, and it was fully bipedal. It had some strong legs for a smaller dinosaur. It is estimated that it could run upwards of 25 MPH. Even Usain Bolt only ran about 23 MPH in a 100-meter sprint. This dinosaur could outrun him, catch up, and eat even the fastest humans (on foot).

It had a long, narrow skull that lacked most specializations that other dinosaurs had. It also had a flexible joint in its lower jaw that could slide back and forth, making it able to deal a “grasping” bite to its prey. The teeth in its jaw, were equipped with large & serrated teeth for biting into flesh easier. Its neck was slender and was also flexible.

How Herrerasaurus Lived Its Life​

It most likely lived in lightly forested areas to hilly plains, where it could more easily catch up with its prey while running at its full speed (about 25 MPH). Pictured above, is a small synapsid that it just killed and is about to eat. That was most likely its primary source of food.​

Herrerasaurus In Media & Games​

This creature is depicted in the Legacy branch (old version) of The Isle as a “Sandbox Dinosaur” that was not normally selectable. You had to have a server administrator change your character file in the server’s files to play as this dinosaur or get nested in by another player. There was a mention of it in the Jurassic Park/World franchise but was not visible in the films.​

Conclusion​

The Herrerasaurus is an interesting dinosaur from the early periods of dinosaur times (Triassic > Jurassic > Cretaceous). It was on the smaller side but still had a sturdy build, and could run fast to catch up with its prey. This dinosaur was likely a more common occurrence during its time, and you would likely have seen it running around doing its daily business more than say, other smaller theropods of its time.

References & Notes

  • Wikipedia
  • Wikimedia Commons (Pictures)

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Kenson M

Kenson M

Owner of Mesozoic Haven since 2015, when it was previously known as Jurassic Kingdoms. Is a family-friendly content livestreamer and lives in Texas.View Author posts

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