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AMMOSAURUS

an anchisaurid sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Early Jurassic of North America.
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Pronunciation: AM-oh-SOR-us
Meaning: Sandy ground Lizard
Author/s: Marsh (1891)
Synonyms: Anchisaurus major? (Marsh, 1889)
First Discovery: Conneticut, U.S.A.
Chart Position: 52

Ammosaurus major

Ammosaurus major is one of the first non-sauropod sauropodomorphs known from North America and one of the few to survive into the Middle Jurassic, but it was initially assigned by O.C. Marsh to his Anchisaurus as Anchisaurus major when its partial rear-end was discovered in the Connecticut sandstone quarry of Charles O. Wolcott in 1889. Unfortunately the rest of it was in bits in South Manchester, stuck in a bridge that was built with blocks cut from the same quarry sometime earlier. Nevertheless, Marsh pin-pointed enough differences in what he had available to separate his new specimen from the name-bearing Anchisaurus polyzelus from Springfield Armory at Massachusetts in 1891, and enough similarities in two more specimens from Walcott's quarry to raise Anchisaurus solus and Anchisaurus colurus the same year.

It's been all go since then, what with Anchisaurus solus (Marsh, 1891) being renamed Ammosaurus solus (Marsh 1892) and then sunk into Ammosaurus major (Galton, 1971), and Anchisaurus colurus (Marsh 1891) being renamed Yaleosaurus (Von Huene, 1932), identified as the female form of Anchisaurus polyzelus (Galton, 1971) and nominated as the Anchisaurus name-bearer in 2015 due to its infinately better fossils (Galton, 2012). All this chopping and changing left one species each of Anchisaurus and Ammosaurus, with the latter being bolstered by fragments from Manchester Bridge that were gathered by John Ostrom after its demolition in 1969. However, most experts believe that there is only one sauropodomorph present in Connecticut/Massachusetts, and that sauropodomorph is Anchisaurus because it was named first.
Etymology
Ammosaurus is derived from the Greek "ammos" (sandy ground, referring to the sandstone in which it was found) and "sauros" (lizard).
Originally considered to be a second species of Anchisaurus, Ammosaurus was given the species epithet "major" (meaning "greater" in Latin) because it was bigger than the name-bearing Anchisaurus polyzelus specimen.
Discovery
Quarry workers discovered Ammosaurus at the Portland Formation of the Newark Supergroup, Connecticut, U.S.A in the late 1800's.
The Holotype (YPM 208) includes six back vertebrae, the sacrum, ribs, most of the right shoulder blade, most of the pelvis, the whole left leg, the right thigh and the right foot.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Early Jurassic
Stage: Pliensbachian-Toarcian
Age range: 189-176 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 4 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 50 Kg
Diet: Herbivore
References
• Marsh, O.C. (1889) "Notice of new American dinosaurs". American Journal of Science 3 (37): 331–336. [coins Anchisaurus major]
• Marsh, O.C. (1891) "Notice of new vertebrate fossils". American Journal of Science 3 (42): 265–269. [renames Anchisaurus major into Ammosaurus major]
• Galton P.M. and Upchurch P. (2004) "Prosauropoda" in Weishampel, Dodson and Osmolska (eds.) "The Dinosauria: Second Edition".
• Yates, A. M. (2010) "A revision of the problematic sauropodomorph dinosaurs from Manchester, Connecticut and the status of Anchisaurus Marsh". Palaeontology, Vol. 53, Part 4, Page 739–752.
• Tweet JS and Santucci VL (2011) "Anchisaurus from Springfield Armoury". Brigham Young University Geology Studies, Volume 49(A):7S-S2.
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "AMMOSAURUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 27th Apr 2017.
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