Genus of reptiles (fossil)

Eodromaeus (meaning "dawn runner") is an extinct genus of basal theropod dinosaur from the Upper Triassic of Argentina.[1] An almost complete articulated skeleton (the bones were still mostly connected) was found in 1996.

Temporal range: Carnian
~231.4–229 Ma
Eodromaeus murphi.jpg
Restored skeleton
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Clade: Saurischia
Clade: Theropoda
Genus: Eodromaeus
Martinez et al. 2011
E. murphi
Binomial name
Eodromaeus murphi
Martinez et al. 2011

Eodromaeus has been cited by Paul Sereno as "close to the root of the dinosaurs".[2] It is the earliest known definite theropod.


Eodromaeus was a relatively small dinosaur, with a total length of about 1.2 metres (3.9 ft) from nose to tail, and a weight of about 5 kilograms (11 lb). The trunk was long and slender. It is unknown how fast Eodromaeus could run: about 30 kilometres per hour (19 mph) has been suggested.[3] The animal was, like all early dinosaurs, bipedal. The forelimbs were much shorter than the hindlimbs, ending in hands with five digits. Digits IV and V were very reduced in size.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Martinez, Ricardo N. et al 2011 A basal dinosaur from the dawn of the dinosaur era in Southwestern Pangaea. Science. 331 (6014): 206–210. doi:10.1126/science.1198467. PMID 21233386 http://www.sciencemag.org/content/331/6014/206.abstract. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. Bowdler, Neil 2011. BBC News Science & Environment. "'Dawn runner casts light on birth of the dinosaurs", www.bbc.co.uk, 13-1-2011.
  3. Weise E, "New dog-sized dinosaur discovered", www.usatoday.com, 23-01-2011.