The Ceratosaur Dinosaur Elaphrosaurus bambergi Janensch, 1920 Tracks from Beit Zeit, West of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Occupied Palestine

By: Prof. Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa

Article Reference: Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Prof. Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2014). The Ceratosaur Dinosaur Elaphrosaurus bambergi Janensch, 1920 Tracks from Beit Zeit, West of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Occupied Palestine. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. ISSN 0178 – 6288. Number 117, September 2014, Thu Al-Qi’da 1435 AH. pp. 1-33. Dubai and Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. http://palestine-dinosaur.webs.com/

One of the Beit Zeit Dinosaur Footprints from Beit Zeit, West of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Occupied Palestine. 09.07.2013. Photo by: Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/12155111194/

Palestine's history is mostly known from the Torah, Bible and the Holy Qur'an. The Holy land is full of historical places, and is visited by many tourists and pilgrims that want to see the remarkable beauty of this country with their own eyes. Palestine is sometimes called "The land were the time began", and it contains treasures to be seen from the Mesozoic period, which is not so well known. Thanks to Prof. Moshe Avnimelech (Ex-Head of the Paleontology Department in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem), who described the dinosaur tracks of the Hebron or Judean Hills, the historical wealth of Palestine goes further back in time than anyone ever had expected. In Beit Zeit, just a few kilometers from the Palestinian Capital City of Al-Quds (Jerusalem City), ninety to hundred million years old dinosaur tracks give great insight in the prehistoric life of the Middle East (Khalaf-von Jaffa, 2006).


The Beit Zeit tracks are of prime scientific value. They record one of the major links in the biological chain of development on earth.


I visited Beit Zeit, West of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), on 09.07.2013 and examined the Beit Zeit Dinosaur Tracks accompanied with my beloved wife Ola and my beloved daughter Nora.

Map of Beit Zeit, West of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Occupied Palestine. The map is showing the Dinosaur Tracks site. Photo by: Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa. 09.07.2013. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/12191054606/

The Discovery

The discovery of the Beit Zeit (Beit Zayit) dinosaur tracks, just a few kilometers west of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), was made by Mr. Mordechai Sofer, a former geology student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. During the summer of 1962, Mr. Mordechai Sofer informed Prof. Moshe Avnimelech that mysterious imprints were left in the rocks in the garden of Mr. Schwarzwald, who was as Mr. Sofer, a resident of the Beit Zeit village. The next day Prof. Moshe Avnimelech visited the construction site. What he found was a continuous row of tracks, stretching for some 10 meter. It seemed that the tracks went on onto the hillock to the east and north of the exposed area. Later when a further area of 400 sq. m. was uncovered numerous additional tracks similar in form, pattern and direction were revealed (Avnimelech and Bervoets; Khalaf-von Jaffa, 2006).

Beit Zeit Dinosaur Tracks from Beit Zeit, West of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Occupied Palestine. 09.07.2013. Photo by: Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/12207228555/

Age of the tracks

The age of the tracks is fixed by what is known of the geological structure and history of the Judean Hills, a layer at least 500 meter thick that constitute a part of a series of strata deposited from the Early Cretaceous (Barremian Period) to the Late Cretaceous (Campanian period). The strata were the tracks are found are usually assigned to the lowest part of the Cenomanian series, but the possibility that they belong to the Upper Albian may not be excluded. So, the age may be estimated ninety to hundred million years (Avnimelech and Bervoets; Khalaf-von Jaffa, 2006).

Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa with the Ceratosaur Dinosaur Elaphrosaurus bambergi Janensch, 1920 of Beit Zeit, West of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Occupied Palestine. 09.07.2013. Photo by my beloved wife: Ola Mostafa Khalaf. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/12128563816/

Nature of the rocks

The nature of the rocks on which the tracks were made indicates a marine origin, composed out of dolomitic-marly limestone in regular 10-15 cm. thick layers, with the seams of marl in between. The fossils in part of the layers are chiefly of marine gastropods of shallow-water character. Imprints of terrestrial plants were found in some of the layers, indicating the nearness of the shore. In certain layers, concentrations may be observed of reddish-brown earthy material, which is obviously derived from the adjacent land area (Avnimelech and Bervoets; Khalaf-von Jaffa, 2006).

Beit Zeit Dinosaur Tracks from Beit Zeit, West of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Occupied Palestine. 09.07.2013. Photo by: Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/12207467393/

Form and arrangement

The form and arrangement of the tracks clearly show that the tracks were made by a biped. Often only the digits were imprinted but sometimes even the tarsals were pressed into the rock surface. The imprints of the tarsals show that these were elongated, so it is lengthening the foot. The tracks are made by theropod dinosaurs which were carnivorous, and had four toes of which the first was short and high (Avnimelech and Bervoets; Khalaf-von Jaffa, 2006).

Beit Zeit Dinosaur Footprints from Beit Zeit, West of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Occupied Palestine. 09.07.2013. Photo by: Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/12208476686/

Trackmaker

In general shape and appearance to trackmaker may have been similar to the North American genus Struthiomimus. It appears that the trackmaker belongs to one of the families of the group Coelurosauria, specially the Coeluridae and Ornithomimidae of which the first seems to fit the tracks more closely. However, considering the dinosaur remains discovered in eastern and northern Africa (Tanzania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt) the possibility cannot be excluded that Elaphrosaurus bambergi lived once in the vicinity of Beit Zeit, Palestine. The trackmaker had an estimated length of the hind-limbs up to the waist, 140 cm; the forelimbs were attached to the shoulders at a height of approximately 150-160 cm. The height of the animal, when standing upright, was 230-250 cm, and the length of the animal was from tip to tail about 360-380 cm, and weighted approximately 150 kg (Avnimelech and Bervoets; Khalaf-von Jaffa, 2006).

Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa is showing the Beit Zeit Dinosaur Tracks at Beit Zeit, West of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Occupied Palestine. 09.07.2013. Photo by my wife: Ola Mostafa Khalaf. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/12208133763/

Types

The Beit Zeit site is an area of approximately four hundred meters on which more than two hundred tracks can be seen. Several types of tracks can be distinguished, which might belong to three species. The most frequent type is characterized by an angle of 70 to 90 degrees between the outhermost digits. The length of these digits is 18-20 cm while the length of the middle digit (III) is 24-27 cm (Avnimelech and Bervoets; Khalaf-von Jaffa, 2006).

The length and thickness of the tracks vary with the heaviness of tread and the properties of the soil. A round or rectangular depression was formed at the place where the digits were joined: it is bulb-shaped and is evidently the imprint of a tarsal bone or bones. The outhermost digits of the second type make a broad arc with their base, giving the footprints the shape of an anchor; and in this type the length of the central digit is as with the first 40 to 50% greater than that of the outhermost digits (Avnimelech and Bervoets; Khalaf-von Jaffa, 2006).


The third type differs from the first and second in that the base of the digits is almost straight. It is however, possible that this is only accidental, and can be attributed to the mode of the tread. Several isolated tracks with digits of almost equal length are totally different. The digits are splayed out at an angle of nearly 120 degrees; the external ones are bent out to form a smooth arc. These tracks are probably of the fore-limb, which may explain their rarity. Tracks of different times of passage are also distinguishable: the earlier are blurred, as they were subsequently covered by a thin layer of new sediment (Avnimelech and Bervoets; Khalaf-von Jaffa, 2006).


There are several 10-15 meter long rows of tracks which are made up of 15 to 20 footprints, and other shorter rows, only 3 to 4 meter long, consisting of no more than 4 to 6. In general, the direction of the long rows of tracks which are more prominent than the short ones - is from south to north or north to south, whereas the direction of the shorter rows is commonly from northeast to southwest or vice versa. Only few of the very shortest rows run approximately east-west or west-east. In the area, it is possible to make out three long rows which trend north-south, more than a dozen medium rows, and 4-5 short rows which run east-west (Avnimelech and Bervoets; Khalaf-von Jaffa, 2006).

Beit Zeit Dinosaur Tracks from Beit Zeit, West of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Occupied Palestine. 09.07.2013. Photo by: Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/12208085473/

Ornithomimosaurs

Ornithomimosaurs ("Bird mimic lizards") or members of the clade Ornithomimosauria are theropod dinosaurs, like Gallimimus, which bore a superficial resemblance to modern ostriches. They were fast, fleet-footed, omnivorous and herbivorous dinosaurs from the Upper Cretaceous of Laurasia (Asia, Europe and North America). The skull, sitting atop a long neck, was relatively small with large eyes. Some primitive species had teeth, but most had toothless beaks. The arms were long and slender and bore powerful claws. The limbs were long and powerful, with a long foot and short, strong toes terminating in hooflike claws. Ornithomimosaurs were probably among the fastest of all dinosaurs. Like many other coelurosaurs, the ornithomimid hide was probably feathered rather than scaly (Wikipedia; Khalaf-von Jaffa, 2006).


The group first appears in the Lower Cretaceous and persisted until the Upper Cretaceous. They appear to be related to less derived coelurosaurian theropods such as Compsognathus and tyrannosaurids. Primitive members of the group include Pelecanimimus, Shenzhousaurus, Harpymimus, and probably the huge Deinocheirus, the arms of which reached eight feet in length. More advanced species, members of the family ornithomimidae, include Gallimimus, Archaeornithomimus, Anserimimus, Struthiomimus, and Ornithomimus (Wikipedia; Khalaf-von Jaffa, 2006).

Ornithomimosaurs probably got most of their calories from plants but may have eaten small vertebrates and insects as well. Henry Fairfield Osborn suggested that the long, sloth-like arms may have been used to pull down branches for ornithomimosaurs to feed on; it may also have been a dangerous weapon. The sheer abundance of ornithomimids — they are the most common small dinosaurs in North America — are consistent with the idea that they were plant eaters, as herbivores usually outnumber carnivores in an ecosystem. The presence of gastroliths in the stomach of some ornithomimids fit this hypothesis (Wikipedia; Khalaf-von Jaffa, 2006).


Some paleontologists, like Paul Sereno, consider the enigmatic alvarezsaurids to be close relatives of the ornithomimosaurs, and places them together in the superfamily Ornithomimoidea (Wikipedia; Khalaf-von Jaffa, 2006).

One of the Beit Zeit Dinosaur Footprints from Beit Zeit, West of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Occupied Palestine. 09.07.2013. Photo by: Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/12191415913/

Struthiomimus

Struthiomimus (“Ostrich-mimic”) was a long-legged, ostrich-like dinosaur of the family Ornithomimidae, which lived in Alberta, Canada during the Late Cretaceous period, about 85 to 80 million years ago. It was about 1.50 meters (5 feet) tall at the hips and weighed around 250 kg (500 lbs). Struthiomimus is one of the more common small dinosaurs in Dinosaur Provincial Park; its abundance suggests that it was an herbivore or an omnivore rather than a carnivore. It most likely lived on a diet of lizards, small mammals, fruits, and seeds, although some scientists theorize that it may have used its hooked claws to dig up clams and other shellfish, or possibly eggs (Wikipedia; Khalaf-von Jaffa, 2006).


The legs were long, powerful and seemingly well-suited to rapid running, like an ostrich. The neck was slender and ended in a small, beaked skull with relatively large eyes. The 'arms' were long and fairly strong; the fore limbs were more powerful and the claws were more strongly hooked than in Ornithomimus. It also had the typical characteristics of most ornithomimids: a long, stiff tail and a toothless beak. Predators of Struthiomimus may have included Saurornitholestes, Dromaeosaurus, and the tyrannosaurs Daspletosaurus and Gorgosaurus. The best-preserved skeleton of Struthiomimus is currently on display at the American Museum of Natural History, in Manhattan, New York. The best skull is currently on display at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada (Wikipedia; Khalaf-von Jaffa, 2006).


Struthiomimus is also known from the Horseshoe Canyon Formation of Alberta and the Hell Creek Formation of Montana, suggesting that the dinosaur may have lived along the river banks of its day. These animals have not been thoroughly studied yet but they may represent new species of Struthiomimus (Wikipedia; Khalaf-von Jaffa, 2006).

Beit Zeit Dinosaur Footprints from Beit Zeit, West of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Occupied Palestine. 09.07.2013. Photo by: Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/12191843574/

Elaphrosaurus

Elaphrosaurus was one of the earliest ornithomimids (ostrich dinosaurs), Elaphrosaurus was a relative of Dromiceiomimus, Gallimimus, Ornithomimus, and Struthiomimus. It was probably one of the earliest members of that family and fossil bones have been found that date back to the late Jurassic period. Most "ostrich dinosaurs" are found from the Cretaceous period. A distant relative is Ornitholestes, a small dinosaur only half the size of Elaphrosaurus (Wikipedia; Khalaf-von Jaffa, 2006).


Elaphrosaurus was a carnivore from late Jurassic Tanzania, 145 to 150 million years ago. Scientists aren't sure what its head looked like, as its skull was never found. Elaphrosaurus was probably a medium-sized, but lightly built, bipedal, carnivore Ceratosaur and probably was about 6.2 meters (20 feet) long. It was discovered by the German paleontologist Werner Janensch, in the Tendaguru Beds of Tanzania, which has also yielded Brachiosaurus, Allosaurus, and Kentrosaurus, to name a few (Wikipedia; Khalaf-von Jaffa, 2006).


What is known about Elaphrosaurs comes from a nearly complete skeleton found in the Tendaguru Beds. What is known about it is that it was a long slender dinosaur, with a long neck, possibly for digging into carrion. There have been very few theropods skeletons found there, just bits and pieces, and this was a rare find. Because the skeleton had no head, the Elaphrosaurus was displayed with a skull based on Velociraptor. A related animal, or perhaps the same species, has been found in the Morrison Formation (Wikipedia; Khalaf-von Jaffa, 2006).


Morphologically, this dinosaur is significant in two ways. First, it has a relatively long trunk but is very shallow-chested for a theropod of its size. Second, it has very short hind limbs when compared to its relatively long trunk. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that this genus is likely a ceratosaur, and earlier suggestions that it is a late surviving coelophysoid have been examined but generally dismissed (Wikipedia).


When it was alive, it would have been about 20 feet long, may be 5 feet tall at the hip, weighing may be 210 kilograms (463 pounds). It was built as a fast runner, probably running down small prey on the open plains. Because of its long legs, some think it may have been the fastest runner of the Jurassic. With long, slender legs and a stiff tail, Elaphrosaurus would have easily sprinted from danger. It had keen eyes and a quick brain. Its diet probably depended on where it lived. Near the sea it might have grubbed around for shellfish or shoveled sand for tiny creatures. Some lived far inland and others foraged among woods and forests. Since it had no teeth, Elaphrosaurus could not have eaten meat (Wikipedia; Khalaf-von Jaffa, 2006).

A small Dinosaur inside an egg at Beit Zeit, West of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Occupied Palestine. Photo by: Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa. 09.07.2013. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/12190931005/

Etymology

The genus name Elaphrosaurus is derived from the Greek words elaphro (ελαφρός) meaning "light" as in "light-weight", a reference to its slender frame and "sauros" (σαυρος) meaning "lizard"; thus, "lightweight lizard". Elaphrosaurus was described and named by the German paleontologist Werner Janensch* in 1920 and the type species is Elaphrosaurus bambergi (Wikipedia).

* Werner Janensch was a German paleontologist and museum curator (the Natural History Museum of Berlin) who led an expedition (with Edwin Hennig) to the Tendaguru Beds in Deutsch-Ostafrika, what is now Tanzania, Africa. That expedition found many late Jurassic period dinosaurs, including some Brachiosaurus. Janensch named Dicraeosaurus (1914) and Elaphrosaurus (1920).

One of the Beit Zeit Dinosaur Footprints from Beit Zeit, West of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Occupied Palestine. 09.07.2013. Photo by: Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/12191856676/

Description

Elaphrosaurus was long and slender, with a long neck. What is known about Elaphrosaurus mostly comes from a single nearly complete skeleton and no skull has been found. It was distinctive among theropods for being short-legged for its length. Paul (1988) noted that this was the longest-trunked and shallowest-chested theropod that he has examined. Elaphrosaurus was about 6.2 meters (20 feet) long, 1.46 meter (5 feet) tall at the hip, and weighed about 210 kilograms (463 pounds). The tibia (shin bone) of Elaphrosaurus, measured 608 mm was considerably longer than its femur (thigh bone) that measured 520 mm, which indicates that it could probably run very fast. Its long tail ended with a rare downward bend which may be unrelated to taphonomy (Wikipedia).

Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa at the Beit Zeit Dinosaur Site, West of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Occupied Palestine. 09.07.2013. Photo by my beloved wife: Ola Mostafa Khalaf. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/12265436034/

Classification

Elaphrosaurus was first described as a coelurid. At the time, Coeluridae was a wastebasket taxon for small theropods. Then, Elaphrosaurus was placed in the family Ornithomimidae by Nopcsa (1928) because of its light frame and the fact that its humerus is straight and slender. Upon closer examination its limbs approximate those of Coelophysis. Barsbold, Maryanska and Osmolska (1990) and other researchers classified it as an ornithomimid. More recent work by Carrano and Sampson (2008) and Carrano et al. (2012) assign this genus to Ceratosauria. It is now believed that Limusaurus is its closest relative (Wikipedia).

Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa at the Beit Zeit Dinosaur Site, West of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Occupied Palestine. 09.07.2013. Photo by my beloved wife: Ola Mostafa Khalaf. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/12265065885/

Nomina dubia (dubious names)

The following material was assigned to Elaphrosaurus over the years, but further study revealed that these assignments were dubious:

  • Elaphrosaurus iguidiensis, was described by Lapparent in 1960, and the material was collected in AlgeriaLibya and Niger in Early Cretaceous sediments. The material consists of over 40 teeth, a manual ungual, eight caudal vertebrae, a distal femur fragment, and a complete tibia measuring 350 mm. These specimens originated in three different localities and do not appear to belong to the same species.
  • Elaphrosaurus gautieri, was first described by Lapparent in 1960, and the material was collected at the Tiouraren Formation in Niger in Middle-Late Jurassic sediments. This material, a complete neck vertebra, has since been renamed Spinostropheus gautieri by Sereno et al. (2004).
  • Elaphrosaurus philtippettensis, was erected by Pickering in 1995 based on USNM 5737, which consists of a tibia, a humerus, some metatarsals, and the distal portion of a fragmentary pubic bones recovered from the Morrison Formation of Colorado. Further research by Carpenter et al. (2005) suggested that the fossils are not ceratosaurian and are likely referable to the coelurid theropod Tanycolagreus.
  • Elaphrosaurus agilis, was described Dale Russel in 1972, based on a pair of fused pubic bones that O. C. Marsh had earlier named Coelurus agilis, believing that this specimen represented a much larger version of the type specimen, Coelurus fragilis. John Ostrom in 1980 confirmed Charles Gilmore's earlier position that Coelurus agilis was synonymous with Coelurus fragilis. This means that Elaphrosaurus agilis is actually the same animal as Coelurus fragilis.
  • Elaphrosaurus sp. USNM 8415, was discovered in 1883 and first referred to the ornithopod Dryosaurus. It was later referred to Elaphrosaurus by Galton in 1982, based on remains recovered at the Morrison Formation of Colorado. This material, which is clearly ceratosaurian, does not bare any morphology that specifically ties it to Elaphrosaurus. Current knowledge limits the placement of this material to Ceratosauria incertae sedis.

Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa and his daughter Nora Norman Ali Khalaf and friends (Abdulla and Raneen Ramadan) at the Beit Zeit Dinosaur Site, West of Jerusalem, Occupied Palestine. 09.07.2013. Photo by my beloved wife: Ola Mostafa Khalaf. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/12264920215/

Distinguishing anatomical features

A diagnosis is a statement of the anatomical features of an organism (or group) that collectively distinguish it from all other organisms. Some, but not all, of the features in a diagnosis are also autapomorphies. An autapomorphy is a distinctive anatomical feature that is unique to a given organism (Wikipedia).

According to Rauhut (2000), Elaphrosaurus can be distinguished based on the following characteristics:

  • the cervical vertebrae possess thin latero-ventral laminae, bordering the posterior pleurocoel ventrally
  • the cervical vertebrae are strongly concave ventrally, with the ventral margin arching above the mid-height of the anterior articular facet at its highest point
  • the brevis fossa of the ilium is extremely widened, so that the brevis shelf forms an almost horizontal lateral flange
  • the distal end of the ischium is strongly expanded into a triangular boot (Wikipedia).

Beit Zeit Dinosaurs. Israeli Stamps. Issue date 05.12.2000. Id Michel: 1576-1578. Scott: 1421-1423. Stanley Gibbons: 1501-1503Yvert: 1507-1509. Designer: Tuvia Kurz. 3 Stamps. Value NIS 2.20 x 3. Size 30.8 x 30.8 mm. http://www.paleophilatelie.eu/images/sets/Israel_2000.jpg

Paleoecology

Provenance and occurrence

The type specimen of Elaphrosaurus bambergi HMN Gr.S. 38-44 was recovered in the Middle Dinosaur Member of the Tendaguru Formation in Tanzania. The specimen was collected by Werner Janensch, I. Salim, H. Reck, and Parkinson in 1910 in gray, green, red, sandy marl that was deposited during the Kimmeridgian stage of the Jurassic period, approximately 157 to 152 million years ago. This specimen is housed in the collection of the Humboldt Museum in BerlinGermany (Wikipedia).

A related animal, perhaps the same genus, was found in stratigraphic zones 2-4 of the Morrison Formation. Few theropod skeletons have been found, most discoveries being fragments (Wikipedia).


Fauna and Habitat

Studies suggest that the paleoenvironment of the Tendaguru Formation was a marginal marine environment with both non-marine faunal and floral content. The Middle Dinosaur Member of the Tendaguru Formation has yielded the sauropods GiraffatitanAustralodocusJanenschiaTornieria and Dicraeosaurus, theropods similar to Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus, the carcharodontosaurid Veterupristisaurus, the stegosaurid Kentrosaurus and the iguanodontian Dysalotosaurus. Dinosaurs shared this paleoenvironment with pterosaurs like Pterodactylus and Rhamphorhynchus, as well as with early mammals. Paul (1988) noted that Elaphrosaurus bambergi was too small to prey on the sauropods and stegosaurs present in its paleoenvironment, and instead, it likely hunted the small and swift ornithopod herbivores (Wikipedia).

A large Dinosaur Footprint at Dubailand in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Photo by: Prof. Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa. 04.02.2014. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/12337123304/

Ichnology

Dinosaur footprints from the Niger Republic and from Jerusalem were attributed to Elaphrosaurus. This assignment is considered inconclusive (Wikipedia).

Elaphrosaurus bambergi Janensch, 1920. Holotype skeleton mounted (skull, hands and other elements speculative), Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. 16.072008. Photo: Aktron. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Berl%C3%ADn,_Mitte,_socha_je%C5%A1t%C4%9Bra_v_Museum_f%C3%BCr_Naturkunde.jpg

Ceratosauria

Ceratosaurs are members of a group of theropod dinosaurs defined as all theropods sharing a more recent common ancestry with Ceratosaurus than with birds. There is no agreed upon listing of species or diagnostic characters of Ceratosauria, though they were less derived anatomically than the more diverse Tetanurae. According to the latest and most accepted theory, Ceratosauria includes the Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous theropods Ceratosaurus, Elaphrosaurus, and Abelisaurus, found primarily (though not exclusively) in the Southern Hemisphere. Originally, Ceratosauria included the above dinosaurs plus the Late Triassic to Early Jurassic Coelophysoidea and Dilophosauridae, implying a much earlier divergence of ceratosaurs from other theropods. However, most recent studies have shown that coelophysoids and dilophosaurids do not form a natural group with other ceratosaurs, and are excluded from this group (Wikipedia).

Elaphrosaurus bambergi Janensch, 1920 and Rhamphorynchus.

                                               www.gazelle.8m.net/custom3.html

References and Internet Websites

Avnimelech, Moshe A. (1962). Dinosaur tracks in the lower Cenomanian of Jerusalem. Nature, London. 196 (4851): 264.

Avnimelech, Moshe A. (1962). Decouverte d'empreintes de pas de Dinosaures dans le Cenomanien inferieur des environs de Jerusalem. C. R. Soc. Geol. France 1962: 233-235.

Avnimelech, Moshe A. (1963). Discovery of dinosaur tracks of Lower Cenomanian age in Bet Zait, west of Jerusalem. Israel Journal of Earth Sciences 12(2):80-81.

Avnimelech, Moshe A. (1966). Dinosaur Tracks in the Judean Hills. Proceedings of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Section of Sciences. Vol.1, pp.1-19.

Avnimelech, Nirit and Bervoets, Fred. The King's Stone (Avnimelech) Tracks. www.dinodata.net/DNM/Avnimelech.htm 

Barsbold, R; Maryanska, T; & Osmolska, H: Oviraptorosauria. Weishampel, D B, Dodson, P, & Osmolska, H, editors (1990): The Dinosauria. University of California Press, Berkeley.

Carpenter, K., Miles, C., and Cloward, K. (2005). New small theropod from the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation of Wyoming. in Carpenter, K. 2005. The Carnivorous Dinosaurs. Indiana University Press: 23-48. 

Carrano, M. T. and S. D. Sampson (2008). The phylogeny of Ceratosauria (Dinosauria: Theropoda). Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 6(2):183-236. 

Carrano M. T. & R. B. J. Benson, and S. D. Sampson (2012). The phylogeny of Tetanurae (Dinosauria: Theropoda). Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 10(2):211-300. 

Chure (2001). The second record of the African theropod Elaphrosaurus (Dinosauria, Ceratosauria) from the Western Hemisphere. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie Monatshefte. 2001(9), 565-576.

Diego Pol & Oliver W. M. Rauhut (2012). A Middle Jurassic abelisaurid from Patagonia and the early diversification of theropod dinosaurs. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (in press). doi: 10.1098.2Frspb. 2012.0660

Elaphrosaurus bambergi. http://www.palaeocritti.com/by-group/dinosauria/ceratosauria/elaphrosaurus 

First dinosaur bones in Saudi Arabia discovered. http://edition.cnn.com/2014/01/26/world/meast/when-dinosaurs-roamed-saudi-arabia/

Foster, John (2007). Jurassic West: The Dinosaurs of the Morrison Formation and Their World. Indiana University Press. p. 182. ISBN 978-0-253-34870-8

Foster, J. (2007). "Appendix." Jurassic West: The Dinosaurs of the Morrison Formation and Their World. Indiana University Press. pp. 327-329. 

Galton (1982). Elaphrosaurus, an ornithomimid dinosaur from the Upper Jurassic of North America and Africa. Paläontologische Zeitschrift. 56, 265-275. 

Ginsburg, L., Lapparent, A.F. deLoiret, B.and Taquet, P. (1966). Empreintes de pas de Vertebres tetrapodes dans les series continentales a l'Ouest d'Agades, Republique du Niger. Compte Rendu de l'Academie des Sciences,Paris,263:28-31. 

Hooijer, D.A. (1968). A Cretaceous dinosaur from the Syrian Arab Republic. Proc. K. Nederl. Akad. Wet. B. 71:150-152.

Janensch, Werner (1920). Über Elaphrosaurus bambergi und die Megalosaurier aus den Tendaguru Schichten Deutsch-Ostafrikas. Sitzungsberichte der Gessellschaft Naturforschender Freunde zu Berlin (in German) 1920: 225–235.

Janensch, Werner (1925). Die Coelurosauria und Theropoden der Tendaguru-Schichten Deutsch-Ostafrikas. Palaeontographica, no. 1, Suppl. 7, p. 1-99.

Janensch, Werner. The Top Paleontologists and Dinosaur Hunters of All Time. www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/dinosaurs/glossary/Paleontologists.shtml

Beit Zeit Dinosaurs. Philately Day. 05.12.2000. http://www.paleophilatelie.eu/description/stamps/israel_2000.html

Khalaf, Norman Ali Bassam (1980). Tabie’t Al-Talawon fi Al-Haywanat (The Colouration of Animals). Al-Biology Bulletin. Number 1. January 1980, Safar 1401. Biological Society, Kuwait University, State of Kuwait. pp. 4-5. (in Arabic).

Khalaf, Norman Ali Bassam (1983). Sea Snakes in Kuwait. Bulletin of the Biological Studies Club, Kuwait University, State of Kuwait. First Year, Number 4, 7.12.1983. pp. 1-5. (in Arabic).

Khalaf, Norman Ali Bassam (1987). On a Collection of Devon Period Animal Fossils from the Saarland, in the Geologische Museum Saarberg in Saarbrücken, Germany. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Rilchingen-Hanweiler, Federal Republic of Germany. Number 15, Fifth Year, Thul Qi’dah 1407 AH, July 1987 AD. pp. 9-10.

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam (1992). Die Dinosaurier Ausstellung im Museum Alexander Koenig in Bonn, Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Federal Republic of Germany. Number 27, Tenth Year, April 1992. pp. 1-8.

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam (1992). An Introduction to the Animal Life in Palestine. Gazelle. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Federal Republic of Germany. Number 30, Tenth Year, October 1992. pp. 1-7. (in Arabic).

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam (1994). An Introduction to the Animal Life in Palestine. Shqae’q Al-Nouma’n (Anemone coronaria). A Quarterly Magazine Issued by the Program EAI (Education for Awareness and for Involvement). Environmental Education / Children for Nature Protection. In Cooperation with Dept. of General and Higher Education. P.L.O., Palestine. Number 4. Huzairan (June) 1994. pp. 16-21. (in Arabic).

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam (2001). Palestinian Ornithomimid Dinosaur Tracks from Beit Zeit, Jerusalem. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin Home Page. Environmental Affairs 2 and Dinosaurs. www.gazelle.8m.net/custom3.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam (2001). Palestinian Legged Snake Fossil from Ein Yabrud, north of Jerusalem. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin Home Page. Fossils and Zoos. http://gazelle.8m.net/shopping_page.html

Khalaf, Norman Ali Bassam (Gründer) (seit Juli 2001). Dinosaurier Club Yahoo Group. http://de.groups.yahoo.com/group/Dinosaurierclub/

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2004). Gazelle: Das Palästinensische Biologische Bulletin. Eine Wissenschaftliche Reise in Palästina, Arabien und Europa zwischen 1983 – 2004. / Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. A Scientific Journey in Palestine, Arabia and Europe between 1983 – 2004. ISBN 3-00-014121-9. Erste Auflage / First Edition, Juli 2004: 452 Seiten / Pages. Zweite erweiterte Auflage (Second Extended Edition), August 2004: 460 Seiten / Pages. Norman Ali Khalaf, Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Germany. http://dr-norman-ali-khalaf-books.webs.com/

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2004). The Reptiles in the Arabia’s Wildlife Centre in the Sharjah Desert Park, United Arab Emirates. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 34, 22nd Year, August 2004. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. pp. 1-8.

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2005). Aquatica Arabica. An Aquatic Scientific Journey in Palestine, Arabia and Europe between 1980 - 2005 / Aquatica Arabica. Eine Aquatische Wissenschaftliche Reise in Palästina, Arabien und Europa zwischen 1980 - 2005. Erste Auflage, August 2005: 376 Seiten. Norman Ali Khalaf, Rilchingen-Hanweiler, Bundesrepublik Deutschland & Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Aquatica_Arabica.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2006). Ornithomimid Dinosaur Tracks from Beit Zeit, West of Jerusalem, Palestine. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 56, Twenty-fourth Year, August 2006, Rajab 1427 H. pp. 1-7. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. http://de.dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/Dinosaurier_Club/message/183

Khalaf, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2006). Eine Persönlichkeit aus Jaffa, Palästina / A Personality from Jaffa, Palestine: Bassam Ali Taher Khalaf (Abu Ali) (1938-2006). Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 56, Twenty-fourth Year, August 2006. pp. 8-18. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Bassam_Khalaf.html

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2007). Haywanat Filistin (Fauna of Palestine). Wikipedia, Al-Mawsu'a Al-Hurra (The Free Encyclopedia). Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 69, Twenty-fifth Year, September 2007 CE, Sha’ban 1428 AH. pp. 1-4. (in Arabic). http://ar.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D8%AD%D9%8A%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%AA_%D9%81%D9%84%D8%B3%D8%B7%D9%8A%D9%86 

Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa with the Ceratosaur Dinosaur Elaphrosaurus bambergi Janensch, 1920 of Beit Zeit, West of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Occupied Palestine. 09.07.2013. Photo by my beloved wife: Ola Mostafa Khalaf.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/12265472936/

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2009). Flora and Fauna in Palestine. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. ISSN 0178 – 6288. Number 91, July 2009, Rajab 1430 AH. pp. 1-31. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. http://flora-fauna-palestine.webs.com/ 

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Dr. Norman Ali Bassam (2009). Fauna Palaestina – Part One. A Zoological Journey in Palestine, Arabia and Europe between 1983 – 2006 / Fauna Palaestina – Teil Eins. Eine Zoologische Reise in Palästina, Arabien und Europa zwischen 1983 – 2006. ISBN 978-9948-03-865-8. Erste Auflage/First Edition, September 2009: 412 Seiten/Pages. Self Publisher: Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates & Rilchingen-Hanweiler, Bundesrepublik Deutschland. http://dr-norman-ali-khalaf-books.webs.com/faunapalaestinapart1.htm 

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2010). Fauna Emiratus - Part One. Zoological Studies in the United Arab Emirates between 2004 - 2009. / Fauna Emiratus – Teil Eins. Zoologische Studien in die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate zwischen 2004 - 2009. ISBN 978-9948-15-462-4. Erste Auflage/First Edition, November 2010: 350 Seiten / Pages. Self Publisher: Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa, Dubai and Sharjah, United Arab Emirates & Rilchingen-Hanweiler, Bundesrepublik Deutschland.
http://dr-norman-ali-khalaf-books.webs.com/faunaemiratuspart1.htm

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Dr. Norman Ali Bassam (2012). Fauna Palaestina – Part Two. Zoological Studies in Palestine between 1983 – 2009 / Fauna Palaestina - Teil Zwei. Zoologische Studien in Palästina zwischen 1983 – 2009. ISBN 978-9948-16-667-2. 1. Auflage / First Edition : July 2012, Shaaban 1433 H. 208 Seiten / Pages (Arabic Part 120 Pages and the English Part 88 Pages). Publisher: Dar Al Jundi Publishing House, Jerusalem, Palestine. http://dr-norman-ali-khalaf-books.webs.com/faunapalaestinapart2.htm 

 Khalaf-von Jaffa, Dr. Norman Ali Bassam (2012). Ornithomimid Dinosaur Tracks from Beit Zeit, West of Jerusalem, Palestine. In: Fauna Palaestina – Part Two. Zoological Studies in Palestine between 1983 – 2009 / Fauna Palaestina - Teil Zwei. Zoologische Studien in Palästina zwischen 1983 – 2009. ISBN 978-9948-16-667-2. 1. Auflage / First Edition : July 2012, Shaaban 1433 H. pp. 79-88. Publisher: Dar Al Jundi Publishing House, Jerusalem, Palestine. 

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Dr. Norman Ali Bassam (2013). Fauna Palaestina – Part Three. Zoological Studies in Palestine between 2005 – 2012 / Fauna Palaestina - Teil Drei. Zoologische Studien in Palästina zwischen 2005 – 2012. ISBN 978-9950-383-35-7. Erste Auflage / First Edition : July 2013, Shaaban 1434 H. 364 pages (English Part 350 Pages and the Arabic Part 14 Pages). Publisher: Dar Al Jundi Publishing House, Al-Quds (Jerusalem), State of Palestine. http://dr-norman-ali-khalaf-books.webs.com/faunapalaestinapart3.htm

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Prof. Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2013). Dinosaur Tracks at Beit Zeit, West of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Occupied Palestine. 09.07.2013. Youtube Video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEtF3FUegOQ 

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Prof. Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2014). The Ceratosaur Dinosaur Elaphrosaurus bambergi Janensch, 1920 Tracks from Beit Zeit, West of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Occupied Palestine. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. ISSN 0178 – 6288. Number 117, September 2014, Thu Al-Qi’da 1435 AH. pp. 1-33. Dubai and Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. http://palestine-dinosaur.webs.com/

Kobayashi, Y. & R. Barsbold (2006). Ornithomimids from the Nemegt Formation of Mongolia. J. Paleont. Soc. Korea. 22(1): 195-207. 

Lapparent (1960). Les dinosauriens du "Continental intercalaire" du Sahara central. Mem. Soc. Geol. France. 88A 1-57. 

Leonardi, Guiseppe (1985). The oldest tetrapod record known in the world, and other news. Ichnology Newsletter. 14:15-16. 

 Liddell, Henry George and Robert Scott (1980). A Greek-English Lexicon (Abridged Edition). United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. 

Makovicky, P.J.; Y. Kobayashi & P.J. Currie (2004). Ornithomimosauria. in: The Dinosauria. Second Edition. D.B. Weishampel, P. Dodson & H. Osmólska (eds.). University of California Press, Berkeley: 137-150. 

New dinosaur tracks discovered. (Yemen). http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7410032.stm 

Nicholls, E. and A. P. Russell (1985). Structure and function of the pectoral girdle and forelimb of Struthiomimus altus (Theropoda: Ornithomimidae). Palaeontology. 28(4): 643-677. Nopcsa, F. (1928). The genera of reptiles: Paleobiologica, 1, pp. 163-188. 

Ornithomimid Dinosaur Tracks from Beit Zeit, West of Jerusalem, Palestine. http://archive.is/O1C5m 

Osborn, H. F. (1917). Skeletal adaptations of Ornitholestes, Struthiomimus, Tyrannosaurus. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 35: 733-71. 

Paul, G.S. (1988). Predatory Dinosaurs of the World.Simon & Schuster, New York. 

Palestinian Ornithomimid Dinosaur Tracks from Beit Zeit, Jerusalem. www.panoramio.com/photo/43628601 

Paul, Gregory S. (1988). Genus Elaphrosaurus. Predatory Dinosaurs of the World. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 265–266. ISBN 0-671-61946-2

Pickering (1995). Jurassic Park: Unauthorized Jewish Fractals in Philopatry. A Fractal Scaling in Dinosaurology Project, 2nd revised printing. Capitola, California. 478 pp. 

Probst, Ernst und Windolf, Raymund (1993). Dinosaurier in Deutschland. C. Bertelsmann Verlag GmbH, Muenchen. 316 Seiten. 

Rauhut, O.W.M. (2000). The dinosaur fauna from the Guimarota mine. pp 75-82. In: Martin and Krebs (eds.). Guimarota - A Jurassic Ecosystem. Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil, München. Russell, D. A. (1969). A new specimen of Stenonychosaurus from the Oldman Formation (Cretaceous) of Alberta. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences.6: 595-612. 

Russell, Dale A. (1972). Ostrich dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of western Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 9: 375–402. 

Sereno, Wilson and Conrad (2004). New dinosaurs link southern landmasses in the Mid-Cretaceous. Proceedings: Biological Sciences. 71(1546), 1325–1330. 

Tsrenov, Prof. Eitan (The Hebrew University, Jerusalem). Israel 2000 "Dinosaur, Judean Hills". http://www.paleophilatelie.eu/description/stamps/israel_2000.html 

Wikipedia. Ceratosauria. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceratosauria 

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Wikipedia. Ornithomimosauria. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ornithomimosauria 

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Beit Zeit Dinosaors. Israeli Stamps. 05.12.2000. http://www.paleophilatelie.eu/images/variations/israel_2000_fdc_ms.jpg

The Dinosaurs (terrible lizards) constitute two different groups of extinct reptiles, derived from a common ancestor and together with other groups like crocodiles, birds and other extinct reptiles, share unique anatomical features. The dinosaurs appeared on earth during the Triassic period, 235 million years ago and continued to exist to the end of the Mesozoic (end of the Cretaceous) era, when all of them, 65 million years ago, became extinct together with many other groups of organisms. The common explanation of this mass extinction is probably due to a massive impact of an asteroid with the face of the earth, the consequence of which was a worldwide catastrophe to life (Tsrenov). 

During most of their existence on earth (around 170 million years) the dinosaurs dominated most of the continental habitats, were wide spread all over the continents and fed on a broad spectrum of diets (from feeding on leaves to engaging a ferocious predatory behavior). Some of them became highly socialized, laid eggs in bird-like nests ad protected their youngsters. Some others achieved huge dimensions of the body-size (Tsrenov). 

In the moshav settlement of Beit Zayit (Beit Zeit) near Jerusalem, footprints of some dinosaurs were found, which belong to a group of agile animals, running on their hind limbs, which their forelimbs were relatively very small, never used for locomotion, but rather helped then to grasp food or prey. The late Prof. Moshe Avnimelech from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem identified those footprints as belonging to the genus Struthiomimus (=ostrich-like). Indeed, the reconstruction of the animal (exhibited in the backyard of the department of Geology in the Hebrew University) shows a close artificial similarity with ostriches and their capability for a high-speed locomotion. Yet, contrary with all other birds, its body was covered with horny scales, showed no teeth in its jaws, which was covered with a horny sharp sheath and fed on leaves. The Beit Zeit dinosaur was relatively small (150 kg, 4 meters long) (Tsrenov). 

Related species of the same age were described from North America and Mongolia. Until now, no dinosaur bones were found in Palestine, but the footprints of Beit Zeit show that a band of this species ran about the shoreline of the old Tethys Ocean which, at that time, covered the coasts of the Middle East (Tsrenov).

Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa is showing the Beit Zeit Dinosaur Tracks at Beit Zeit, West of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Occupied Palestine. 09.07.2013. Photo by my wife: Ola Mostafa Khalaf. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/12208560416/