Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Reptilia
Subclass Diapsida
Order  ???
Family Euparkeriidae
Genus Euparkeria
1st Species Euparkeria capensis
Other attributes
Time Range 245-230 mya
Location South Africa
Name Meaning Parker's good animal
Physical Dimensions 60 centimeters long
Dietary Classification Carnivore

Euparkeria is a euparkeriid reptile from the Middle-Late Triassic of South Africa. It was named in 1913 by Robert Broom. It is a small basal archosaur hailed as as the ancestor of the dinosaurs; however, this might be wishful thinking.


Euparkeria had a build very similar to the dinosaurs and paracrocodylomorphs it was related to, with a slender body, long hindlegs, moderately-sized forelegs, a long tail, and a big head with big jaws. Its body would have been covered in scaly skin, with crocodile-like scutes running down its back.


Euparkeria was a predator, preying on insects, small cynodonts, and smaller reptiles. Its small yet sharp teeth were used to get a hold of any struggling prey.


Euparkeria's forelimbs are shorter than its hindlimbs, which may lead many people to believe it walked bipedally. In fact, it is commonly restored with features that would help it run bipedally, such as light scutes and a long tail. However, the ankle joints of its hind legs are a little weak; adding on to the fact that it had a big head and moderately-sized forelimbs, we can infer that it walked quadrupedally, only running bipedally in short bursts of speed. A comparison of its sclerotic rings to those of modern reptiles and birds indicates that it was nocturnal; this sort of lifestyle benefitted the animal, as it lived somewhat close to the South Pole, and would have experienced different lighting conditions than others.

In popular cultureEdit

Euparkeria was featured in the 3rd episode of the 2005 documentary Walking with Monsters, where it is depicted as a diurnal predator that lived with Lystrosaurus, Euchambersia, and Proterosuchus, even though it lived a few million years after the three went extinct. As well as this, it is depicted as the ancestor to the dinosaurs; this is taken to a further extent near the end of the segment, where it evolves into an Allosaurus, scares away a Proterosuchus, and walks into a Jurassic plain populated by Stegosaurus and Diplodocus.

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