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Avisaurus
Temporal range: Late Cretaceous
106 avisaurus archibaldi by green mamba-d5xg75w.png
An artist's illustration of Avisaurus archibaldi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Family: Avisauridae
Genus: Avisaurus
Brett-Surman & Paul, 1985
Type species
Avisaurus archibaldis
Brett-Surman & Paul, 1985
Referred species
  • Avisaurus archibaldi (Brett-Surman and Paul, 1985)
  • Avisaurus gloriae (Varricchio & Chiappe, 1995)

Avisaurus (meaning "bird lizard") is a genus of Enantiornithine bird from the Late Cretaceous of North America.

Description Edit

Both species of Avisaurus are known from the humid low-lying swamps, lakes, and river basins of the western shore of the Western Interior Seaway, and from the much more arid uplands between that area and the Cordilleran Overthrust Belt which eventually formed the Rocky Mountains. This genus belongs to the enantiornithine family Avisauridae, which also contains similar animals from South America such as Soroavisaurus and Neuquenornis In the Late Cretaceous the Americas were still separated by a branch of the Tethys Ocean. The presence of reported Avisaurus remains in both North and South America has been put forward as evidence that faunal changes in the southern half of North America during the Lancian resulted from an immigration event of South American taxa moving north.

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