Heterodontosauria

The family Heterodontosauridae belongs to the ornithischian dinosaurs and it was probably one of the most basal group amongst them. Phylogenetic analyses found them as a primitive outside group of Genesauria[1]. Species of Heterodontosauria existed from Early Jurassic to Early Cretaceous, and though their fossils are rare, they were found in Africa, Asia, Europe, North-America, and South-America[2]. These dinosaurs were usually no longer than 2 meters. Their most characteristic features were their enlarged canine-like tusks and their cheek-teeth, which were used for chewing, similarly to the later hadrosaurids. Heterodontosaurids were most probably quadrupedal dinosaurs, with the ability of running fast in a bipedal mode, and using the manus of their forelegs for grasping[3]. Based on their dentition, species of this group followed most probably an omnivorous diet[4].

Scientific references

[1] Madzia, Daniel; Arbour, Victoria M.; Boyd, Clint A.; Farke, Andrew A.; Cruzado-Caballero, Penélope; Evans, David C.(2021): The phylogenetic nomenclature of ornithischian dinosaurs. PeerJ. 9: e12362. doi: 10.7717/peerj.12362.

[2] Norman, David B.; Barrett, Paul M. (2002): Ornithischian dinosaurs from the Lower Cretaceous (Berriasian) of England. In Milner, Andrew; Batten, David J. (eds.). Life and Environments in Purbeck Times. Special Papers in Palaeontology 68. London: Palaeontological Association. pp. 161-189.

[2] Santa Luca, Albert P. (1980): The postcranial skeleton of Heterodontosaurus tucki (Reptilia, Ornithischia) from the Stormberg of South Africa. Annals of the South African Museum, 79 (7): 159-211.

[3] Weishampel, David B.; Witmer, Lawrence M. (1990). Heterodontosauridae. In Weishampel, David B.; Dodson, Peter; Osmólska, Halszka (eds.). The Dinosauria. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 486-497.