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Crumbs .. Uncertain .. USA .. Carnivore .. Theropoda ..

APATODON

a dinosaur of uncertain age and affinities from North America.
image
Pronunciation: uh-PAT-uh-don
Meaning: Deceptive tooth
Author/s: Marsh (1877)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Uncertain
Chart Position: 31

Apatodon mirus

O.C. Marsh coined Apatodon — meaning "Deceptive Tooth " — in 1877 for a bone fragment he believed to be the partial lower jaw from a Mesozoic pig. However, it didn't deceive Georg Baur who, in 1880, correctly identified the remains as a terribly worn vertebra, and its neural spine as the bit that Marsh mistook for a tooth.

As if poor quality isn't enough cause to question the validity of Apatodon, its origin is shrouded in uncertainty and the only known fossil has been long-lost. 21st century paleontologists would not entertain such wretched remains and a lack of discovery data, but such things did little to curb the enthusiasm of earlier scientists.

Apatodon was assigned to Iguanodontoidea by Hay in 1902, to Ornithischia by von Huene in 1909, to Stegosauridae by von Zittel in 1911, and to Titanosaurinae by Steel in 1970 and Casanovas in 1987. George Olshevsky reckons it's synonymous with Allosaurus fragilis that may have lived in the same area, but AWOL remains are making his hunch tough to prove.
(Amazing deceptive tooth)Etymology
Apatodon is derived from the Greek "Apatao" (to deceive) and "odon" (tooth) in reference to its remains of which O.C. Marsh admitted: "its exact affinities are doubtful".
The species epithet (or specific name), mirus (mee-russ) means "amazing, surprising, wonderful or marvellous" in Latin.
Discovery
In keeping with the air of mystery regarding the Deceptive Tooth's deceptive remains, the provenance is far from certain, but they may be from the Morrison Formation's Rocky Mountain region. The holotype (USMN coll.) is nothing more than a partial vertebra.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Uncertain
Stage: Uncertain
Age range: Uncertain
Stats:
Est. max. length: ?
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: ?
Diet: Carnivore
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda?
Apatodon
mirus
References
• O.C. Marsh (1877) "Notice of some new vertebrate fossils". American Journal of Arts and Sciences 14:249-256
• G. Baur (1890) "A review of the charges against the paleontological department of the U.S. Geological Survey and of the defense made by Prof. O.C. Marsh".
• Essex Institute (2012) "The American Naturalist ". Volume 24, Part 1.
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "APATODON :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 24th Apr 2017.
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