Meet Euparkeria, a tiny insect eater.
— Allen, about Euparkeria
in Dawn of the Mesozoic

Euparkeria (name meaning "Park's Good Animal") is a genus of archosauriform that originated during the Early Triassic period in what is now South Africa. Smaller than cats, these small, tenacious, bipedal insectivores were taxonomically close relatives to the ancestry of the archosaurs and the dinosaurs.

Facts[edit | edit source]

Era & Discovery[edit | edit source]

Euparkeria lived during the Early Triassic Period 250-230 million years ago. Named in honor of W.K. Parker, Euparkeria was discovered in South Africa in 1913.

Physical Attributes[edit | edit source]

Euparkeria was one of the smaller reptiles of its time, with the adults reaching the size of a large lizard (55 cm or 22 in). Euparkeria may not have been or even looked much of a threat to the larger, more dominant animals of the Early Triassic, however, the key to their success was in their hips. It walked on four legs for most of the time, but if a quick getaway was needed, it could rise on to its hind legs and run at a very high speed.


Like modern-day frilled lizards, the way Euparkeria's thigh was attached allowed them to run on two legs, freeing their hands. This kind of agility had never been seen in reptiles and gave Euparkeria an edge. During their time, they laid the foundation for a new group of reptiles: the Dinosaurs. Giants such as Tyrannosaurus and Diplodocus could all trace their family tree back to these little insect hunters in the Triassic forests.

Behavior & Traits[edit | edit source]

Euparkeria had relatively long hind legs and may have been semi-bipedal, due to the structure of its hipbones that may have enabled it to move using only those long hind legs when running quickly, making it one of the earliest reptiles to walk on two legs.

Another means of defense that Euparkeria possessed was a sharp claw on its thumb, which could have been used as a weapon in close combat.

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