Temporal range: Middle Triassic—Late Triassic, 245–203 Ma
|Life restoration of a Silesaurus|
Langer et al., 2010
Silesauridae is an extinct clade of dinosauriformes, a group of Triassic reptiles that included early ancestors of the dinosaurs. The silesaurids were a sister clade to the dinosaurs. The group was named in 2010 by paleontologist Max C. Langer and colleagues from Brazil and Argentina. They defined it as a branch-based clade of all archosaurs closer to Silesaurus opolensis than to either Heterodontosaurus tucki or Marasuchus lilloensis. At the same time, a second group of scientists independently named Silesauridae as a node-based clade consisting of Lewisuchus, Silesaurus, their common ancestor and all its descendants. Currently, both definitions encompass the same group of animals. In a later paper, Nesbitt and colleagues noted that the earlier definition by Langer et al did not include a diagnosis, and so was not sufficient to create a ranked family-level name according to the ICZN. Therefore, the family Silesauridae is attributed to Nesbitt et al. 2010 while the clade Silesauridae is attributed to Langer et al. 2010.
Among the members of the Silesauridae were Silesaurus (which lends its name to the family), Pseudolagosuchus, Lewisuchus, Asilisaurus, Technosaurus, Eucoelophysis, Sacisaurus, and Diodorus. The cladogram to the right shows one of two current (2010) phylogenies of the Silesauridae.
- ^ a b c Nesbitt, Sterling J., Sidor, Christian A., Irmis, Randall B., Angielczyk, Kenneth D., Smith, Roger M.H. and Tsuji, Linda A. (2010) "Ecologically distinct dinosaurian sister group shows early diversification of Ornithodira." Nature 464(7285):95-8 Supplement
- ^ Kammerer, C.F., Nesbitt, S.J., and Shubin, N.H. (in press). "The first basal dinosauriform (Silesauridae) from the Late Triassic of Morocco." Acta Palaeontologica Polonica (in press) doi:10.4202/app.2011.0015 
- ^ Langer, M.C., Ezcurra, M.D., Bittencourt, J.S., and Novas, F.E. (2010). "The origin and early evolution of dinosaurs". Biological Reviews 85:55-110. doi:10.1111/j.1469-185X.2009.00094.x
- ^ Christian F. Kammerer, Sterling J. Nesbitt, and Neil H. Shubin (2011). The first basal dinosauriform (Silesauridae) from the Late Triassic of Morocco. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica (in press). doi:10.4202/app.2011.0015 
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