Temporal range: Late Jurassic
†A. brevipes (Meyer, 1855)
†A. digitalellus Grier, 1914
Ardeosaurus is an extinct genus of basal lizards, known from fossils found in the Late Jurassic Solnhofen Plattenkalk of Bavaria, southern Germany.
Ardeosaurus was originally considered to be a distant relative to modern geckos, and had a similar physical appearance, though more modern phylogenetic analysis has shown it to be a basal squamate outside the crown group of all living lizards and snakes. On the other hand, a subsequent study conducted by Simões et al. (2016) indicated that Ardeosaurus was a stem-gekkotan, corroborating its initial proposed phylogenetic placement. It was around 20 centimetres (7.9 in) long, with a flattened head and large eyes. It was probably nocturnal, and had jaws specialised for feeding on insects and spiders.
^ Evans, S. E., Wang, Y., & Li, C. (2005). The early Cretaceous lizard genus Yabeinosaurus from China: resolving an enigma. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, 3, 319-335.
^ Tiago R. Simões; Michael W. Caldwell; Randall L. Nydam; Paulina Jiménez-Huidobro (2016). “Osteology, phylogeny, and functional morphology of two Jurassic lizard species and the early evolution of scansoriality in geckoes”. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. in press. doi:10.1111/zoj.12487.
^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 86. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.
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