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Major groups Edit

Ceratosaurus, a ceratosaurid

Irritator, a spinosaurid

Microraptor, a dromaeosaurid

Passer domesticus, an avian, and the world's most widespread extant wild theropod.[51]

The following is a simplified classification of theropod groups based on their evolutionary relationships, and organized based on the list of Mesozoic dinosaur species provided by Holtz (2008).[52] A more detailed version can be found at Dinosaur classification. The cross (†) is used to signify groups with no living members.

  • †Herrerasauria (early bipedal carnivores)
  • †Coelophysoidea (small, early theropods; includes Coelophysis and close relatives)
  • †Dilophosauridae (early crested and carnivorous theropods)
  • †Ceratosauria (generally elaborately horned, the dominant southern carnivores of the Cretaceous)
  • Tetanurae ("stiff tails"; includes most theropods)
  • †Megalosauroidea (early group of large carnivores including the semi-aquatic spinosaurids)
  • †Carnosauria (Allosaurus and close relatives, like Carcharodontosaurus)
  • Coelurosauria (feathered theropods, with a range of body sizes and niches)
  • †Compsognathidae (early coelurosaurs with reduced forelimbs)
  • †Tyrannosauridae (Tyrannosaurus and close relatives; had reduced forelimbs)
  • †Ornithomimosauria ("ostrich-mimics"; mostly toothless; carnivores to possible herbivores)
  • Maniraptora ("hand snatchers"; had long, slender arms and fingers)
  • †Alvarezsauroidea (small insectivores with reduced forelimbs each bearing one enlarged claw)
  • †Therizinosauria (bipedal herbivores with large hand claws and small heads)
  • †Scansoriopterygidae (small, arboreal maniraptors with long third fingers)
  • †Oviraptorosauria (mostly toothless; their diet and lifestyle are uncertain)
  • †Archaeopterygidae (small, winged protobirds)
  • †Dromaeosauridae (small to medium-sized theropods)
  • †Troodontidae (small, gracile theropods)
  • Avialae (birds and extinct relatives)
  • †Omnivoropterygidae (large, early short-tailed avialans)
  • †Confuciusornithidae (small toothless birds)
  • †Enantiornithes (primitive tree-dwelling, flying birds)
  • Euornithes (advanced flying birds)
  • †Yanornithiformes (toothed Cretaceous Chinese birds)
  • †Hesperornithes (specialized aquatic diving birds)
  • Aves (modern, beaked birds and their extinct relatives)
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