Each entry will detail the genus and species name, meaning behind the name (etymology), how old it is, where it was found, and the fossils first ascribed to it. I'll also include a few interesting facts, and a timeline to indicate exactly how old it is relative to other periods. So, I hope you enjoy Obscure Dino of the Week! To begin, let me introduce... Alwalkeria!
Name: Alwalkeria maleriensis
Etymology: In reference to British palaeontologist Alick D. Walker, and the Maleri Formation in which the holotype was found. This genus was originally named Walkeria, but was changed to Alwalkeria due to a previously described bryozoan (Walkeria Fleming, 1823) occupying the same name.
Distribution: Late Triassic (Carnian, 235-230 Ma) of Andhra Pradesh, India.
Type Specimen: ISI R.306 - Partial skull, several vertebrae, hindlimb elements.
Reconstruction of A. maleriensis, but is it accurate? Image sourced from dinoweb
The first described fossil material of A. maleriensis included a partial skull, several vertebrae, and hindlimb elements. It was thought to belong to coelophysoidae; relatively small, bipedal carnivorous dinosaurs. However, it is now thought to be a chimera; the original fossil actually consisting of multiple animal remains (including an ornithosuchid and prolacertiformes (both ancient reptiles), and a saurischian (a "lizard hipped" dinosaur)). If part of the fossil (specifically, an ankle bone) is indeed saurischian, then this may one of the oldest basal saurischians known and should be correctly classified.
Image from Chatterjee, 1987.
Chatterjee, S. 1987. A new theropod dinosaur from India with remarks on the Gondwana- Laurasia connection in the Late Cretaceous. In: McKenzie, G.D. (Ed.). Gondwana Six: Stratigraphy, Sedimentology, and Paleontology. Geophysical Monograph 41. Washington, D.C.: American Geophysical Union. Pp. 183–189.
Chatterjee, S. & Creisler, B.S. 1994. Alwalkeria (Theropoda) and Murturneria (Plesiosauria), new names for preoccupied Walkeria Chatterjee, 1987, and Turneria Chatterjee and Small, 1989. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 14(1): 142.
Remes, K. and Rauhut, O. W. M. 2005. The oldest Indian dinosaur Alwalkeria maleriensis Chatterjee revised: a chimera including remains of a basal saurischian; p. 218 in Kellner, A. W . A., Henriques, D .D. R. and Rodrigues, T. (eds.), II Congresso Latino-Americano de Paleontologie de Vertebrados. Boletim de Resumos. Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro.