Name: »for Ana Biset«
Length: 2 m
Height: 0.6 m
Weight: 20 kg
Time: Cretaceous (95-92 MYA)
Location: South America
Anabisetia (pronounced AH-nah-bee-SET-ee-a) is a genus of ornithopod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous Period of Patagonia, South America. It was a small bipedal herbivore, almost seven feet (2 m) long.
Argentine paleontologists Rodolfo Coria and Jorge Calvo named Anabisetia in 2002. The generic name honors the late Ana Biset, an influential archeologist from Neuquen Province in Argentina, where the remains of this animal were found. The one named species is called A. saldiviai, after Roberto Saldivia, a local farmer who discovered the fossils in 1993.
There are four specimens known, all listed in the original 2002 description. The holotype is the most complete of the four. It consists of fragmentary skull material, including a partial braincase and both dentary (lower jaw) bones, as well as a complete forelimb from shoulder to hand, a complete hindlimb and foot, and representative vertebrae from all sections of the spinal column. The other three specimens are less complete, but include elements not seen in the holotype, including more vertebrae, a complete pelvis and a nearly complete, articulated tail. When all four specimens are considered, the skeleton is more or less completely known except for the skull. These specimens are housed at the Museo Carmen Funes in Plaza Huincul, Argentina.
All four specimens were discovered at a locality called Cerro Bayo Mesa, south of Plaza Huincul in the Neuquen province of Argentina. This locality is part of the Cerro Lisandro Formation, which is a geologic formation within the Rio Limay subgroup of the Neuquen Group. The sediments in this formation preserve a swamp which existed from the late Cenomanian through early Turonian stages of the Late Cretaceous Period, or about 95 to 92 million years ago (Leanza et al., 2004).
This dinosaur is thought to be closely related to another Patagonian ornithopod, Gasparinisaura, although the lack of skull material makes it difficult to place with precision. When originally described, Gasparinisaura and Anabisetia were thought to be basal iguanodontians, more derived than Tenontosaurus. However, more recent cladistic analyses performed by Coria and others indicate that Gasparinisaura actually lies just outside of Iguanodontia, closer to North American ornithopods like Thescelosaurus and Parksosaurus (Norman et al., 2004). Anabisetia would probably fall in a similar position.
Binomial name: Anabisetia saldiviai
Coria & Calvo, 2002