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AVALONIA

a synonym of Camelotia borealis from the Late Triassic of what is now England.
image
Pronunciation: a-vuh-LO-nee-uh
Meaning: Avalon lizard
Author/s: Seeley (1898)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Somerset, England
Chart Position:

Avalonia sanfordi

Long before the advent of scrumpy cider Somerset was home to Avalonia, a dinosaur named after Avalon — funnily enough, the "Isle of Apples" — where Excalibur was forged and King Arthur was taken to recover from his wounds. But during the Permian Avalonia was the name of a sub-continent, pushed right into the middle of Pangaea by huge land movement and partially flooded by shallow sea.

When Pangea split during the Jurassic Avalonia burst forth attached to Laurasia (the rest became Gondwana) and when Laurasia broke up during the Cretaceous half of Avalonia went with Eurasia and the other half was stuck to what would become the east coast of North America. As continents continued to shift and rotate Avalonia was bashed from pillar to post and subsequently left bits of itself attached to both sides of the Gibraltar Strait, France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Ireland, and the south-western edge of the Iberian Peninsula. What's more, Avalonia underlies much of the South West coast of Britain, the area including Somerset — the English county in which Avalonia the dinosaur was discovered!

Despite this amazing adventure (which may not be the slightest bit relevant) Avalonia sanfordi is only a shadow of the dinosaur it used to be. The name was already occupied by a genus of trilobite named by Walcott in 1889, its holotype teeth actually belonged to an archosaur, and much of the material assigned to it since discovery was suspected of belonging to a hotch-potch of different critters. By the time Kuhn eventually got around to renaming it Avalonianus in 1961 it was on borrowed time and was finally put out of its misery in 1985.

Peter Galton eventually struck Avalonianus from the dinosaur register but not before salvaging diognostic sauropodomorpha postcrania (non-skull skeleton) and using it as the foundation for an all new genus, though the Arthurian theme lives on. See Camelotia borealis.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Triassic
Stage: Rhaetian
Age range: 209-201 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 9 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 850 Kg
Diet: Herbivore
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Sauropodomorpha
Sauropoda
Melanorosauridae?
Camelotia
borealis
References
• H. G. Seeley (1898) "On large Terrestrial Saurians from the Rhætio Beds of Wedmork Hill, described as Avalonia Sanfordi and Picrodon Herveyi". Geological Magazine (Decade IV) / Volume 5 / Issue 01 / January 1898, pp 1-6.
• Galton PM (1985a) "Notes on the Melanorosauridae, a family of large prosauropod dinosaurs (Saurischia : Sauropodomorpha)". Géobios, Lyon, 18 : 671-676.
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "AVALONIA :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 27th Apr 2017.
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