Temporal range: Late Triassic
Asylosaurus (meaning "unharmed or sanctuary lizard") is a genus of basalsauropodomorph dinosaur from theLate Triassic of England. It is based on partial remains, described in 1836 byHenry Riley and Samuel Stutchbury as pertaining to Thecodontosaurus, thatOthniel Charles Marsh brought to Yale University between 1888 and 1890. These remains thus escaped destruction by a bombardment in 1940 during World War II, unlike the originalholotype of Thecodontosaurus.Asylosaurus was described in 2007 byPeter Galton. The type species is A. yalensis, referring to Yale. The bones originally came from a Rhaetian-agecave fill at Durdham Down, Clifton,Bristol.
Asylosaurus is based on YPM 2195, a partial skeleton of the torso region, including back vertebrae, ribs, gastralia, a shoulder girdle, humeri, a partial forearm, and a hand; additional bones from the neck, tail, pelvis, arm and leg that may represent the same individual were also referred to Asylosaurus. It differs from Thecodontosaurus andPantydraco, contemporaneous basal sauropodomorphs of similar builds, in the structure of its humerus (upper arm). It may have had a separateecological niche from these other related animals based on howomnivorous or herbivorous it was. According to Gregory S. Paul, it was 2 meters long and its weight was about 25 kg.