|“||Liliensternus, one of the first of the dinosaurs.||„|
|— Allen, describing Liliensternus|
Liliensternus (lil-ee-en-stur-nus; "After Lilienstern") is a genus of predatory coelophysoidean theropod dinosaur that originated during the Middle to Late Triassic period in Germany, as it was one of the first of the dinosaurs. A close relative to Coelophysis, it could grow to 3.5 meters or so.
Era & DiscoveryEdit
As one of the first dinosaurs, Liliensternus lived during the Late Triassic Period, 225-208 million years ago. It shared its environment with reptiles and even other dinosaurs, like Coelophysis and Plateosaurus. Liliensternus were recovered in 1932 near Großen Gleichberg in the Trossingen Formation of the Middle Keuper Group in Thuringia, Germany, together with remains of Ruehleia.
Liliensternus was around 16.5 feet long, stood a little taller than a man, and weighed 280 pounds, making it one of the largest Triassic theropods. Liliensternus walked on two legs like humans do.
This dinosaur was an active hunter: fast, agile, and perfectly adapted for their environment, which gave it an edge over other, more ancient, reptiles and amphibians, running on two powerful hind-legs, balanced by a long, graceful tail. It was a lightly built carnivore and was the largest meat eater of its time.
Although Lilientsernus was a large carnivore, it was still relatively small compared to larger plant-eating dinosaurs like Plateosaurus. It may have hunted those large herbivores but mainly fed on dinosaur hatchlings and small animals instead.
The jaws were lined with sharp, blade-like teeth. The skull shows evidence of distinctive fin like crests along the snout. These may have been for species recognition or as a display to attract a mate.
Like many early theropods, Liliensternus has a five fingered hand, with a smaller fourth and fifth digit.