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Friday, 24th of March, 2017
The database has been scoured and today's daily dinosaur is...

APATOSAURUS

a herbivorous diplodocid sauropod dinosaur from the Late Jurassic of North America.
Pronunciation: a-PAT-oh-SOR-us
Meaning: Deceptive Lizard
Author/s: Cope (1877)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Colorado, USA
Chart Position: 36

Apatosaurus ajax

(Ajax's deceptive lizard)Etymology
Apatosaurus is derived from from the Greek "apate" (deception/deceptive) and "sauros" (lizard). This name was chosen by Othniel Charles Marsh because he thought its chevron bones were deceptively similar to those of some sea-dwelling mosasaurs. The species epithet honors Ajax—the great grandson of Zeus and a hero of the Trojan War.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Jurassic
Stage: Kimmeridgian
Age range: 156-151 mya
Vital Stats:
Est. max. length: 24 meters
Est. max. hip height: 5 meters
Est. max. weight: 18 tons
Diet: Herbivore
Apatosaurus exelsus?
During the infamous "bone wars", E.D. Cope and O.C. Marsh, desperate to one-up each other by fair means or foul, were literally hailing every fragmentary discovery as a new species so it's a bit ironic that Marsh managed to trump himself when his majestic sounding Brontosaurus exelsus—named in 1879 and then the biggest and most complete dinosaur known, turned out to belong to his Apatosaurus—the deceptive lizard—whose type specimen, based on partial, juvenile remains, shares its specific name with a brand of household toilet cleaner. For many years paleontologists battled public opinion and the US postal service (who released a stamp featuring Brontosaurus and were accused of fostering scientific illiteracy) in the hopes of burying everyone's favourite "thunder lizard" once and for all. Alas, it was all in vain as Brontosaurus exelsus was officially reinstated as a valid genus in 2015, and it brought Brontosaurus parvus and Brontosaurus yahnahpin with it.
References
• O. C. Marsh (1877) "Notice of new dinosaurian reptiles from the Jurassic formation".
• O. C. Marsh (1879) "Brontosaurus exelsus" in "Notice of new Jurassic reptiles".
• O. A. Peterson and C. W. Gilmore (1902) "Elosaurus parvus: a new genus and species of the Sauropoda".
• W. J. Holland. 1916. A new species of Apatosaurus. Annals of Carnegie Museum 10
• Filla, J. and P. D. Redman (1994) "Apatosaurus yahnahpin: A preliminary description of a new species of diplodocid dinosaur from the Late Jurassic Morrison Formation of Southern Wyoming, the first sauropod dinosaur found with a complete set of belly ribs".
• P. Upchurch, Y. Tomida & P.M. Barrett (2004) "A new specimen of Apatosaurus ajax (Sauropoda: Diplodocidae) from the Morrison Formation of Wyoming, USA".
• P. Upchurch, P.M. Barrett and P. Dodson (2004) Chapter Thirteen: "Sauropoda" in Weishampel, Osmólska and Dodson's "The Dinosauria: Second Edition".
• Tschopp, E., Mateus, O. V. and Benson, R. B. J. (2015) "A specimen-level phylogenetic analysis and taxonomic revision of Diplodocidae (Dinosauria, Sauropoda)". PeerJ 3: e857. doi:10.7717/peerj.857.
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "APATOSAURUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 24th Mar 2017.
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