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Group: Primitive archosaurs

Date: Early Triassic

Size: 70cm (28in) long

Location: South Africa

Euparkeria was one of many reptile species that lived during the first few million years of the Triassic in what is now South Africa. This small carnivore had a mouthful full of sharp teeth and was covered in scaly skin embedded with bony plates (osteoderms) along it's back and tail. A close cousin of the archosaurs, it showed many characteristics that developed more fully in dinosaurs and other archosaurs. Longer back legs allowed it to run or stand upright at times, which gave it the life-saving advantage of speed and agility, and it's skull had a large opening in front of the eye that housed an enlarged space or sinus, which points to a good spence of smell.

Despite its sharp teeth and fearsome appearance, Euparkeria lived in a world of many predators. Aside from speed, sharp claws on its thumbs were its only defence.

Euparkeria lived during the Middle Triassic, a few million years before dinosaurs like Eoraptor. It's name means

"Parkers good animal". Named in honor of W.K. Parker.

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