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a meat-eating coelophysoid theropod dinosaur from the Late Triassic of North America.
Pronunciation: go-JEE-ra-SOR-us
Meaning: Godzilla lizard
Author/s: Carpenter (1997)
Synonyms: “Revueltoraptor lucasi”
First Discovery: New Mexico, USA
Chart Position: 345

Gojirasaurus quayi

(Godzilla lizard from Quay County)Etymology
Gojirasaurus is derived from "Gojira"—a combination of the Japanese words "gorira" (gorilla) and "kujira" (whale)—the original, non-Anglicized name of the movie monster known in the western world as "Godzilla", and the Greek "sauros" (lizard). The name is a reference to its great size compared to other Triassic theropods.
The species epithet, quayi, honors Quay County where it was discovered.
The remains of Gojirasaurus were discovered near Revuelto Creek in the Bull Canyon Formation (previously known as the Cooper Canyon Formation), Dockum Group, Quay County, New Mexico, USA, by Ken Carpenter in 1981. The holotype (UCM 47221, housed at the University of Colorado Museum) includes a finely-serrated tooth, four back vertebrae, a shoulder blade, some ribs, a chevron, a pubis, and a shin bone from a 5.5m meter individual which lacked the bone fusion that arrives with adulthood and was still growing.
In his 1994 dissertation, Adrian Hunt had named UCM 47221 "Revueltoraptor lucasi" and referred numerous specimens (NMMNH P-4666, P-16607, P-16656, P-17258, P-17134, and part of UMMP 7274) from the Dockum to it. Like Gojirasaurus had never happened, Hunt was referring to these same specimens as "Herrerasurid A" by 1998, and had added NMMNH P-4415, P-16656, P-17325 and P-22494 (that Robert Long and Philip Murry had assigned to Chindesaurus in 1995), promising a detailed description, presumably accompanied by yet another new name, at a later date. Unsurprisingly, said description never materialised, most probably because none of the referred remains can be distinguished from the same area's Shuvosaurus or other archosaurs.
Of the holotype, the ribs and chevron are not diagnostic, the vertebrae is non-dinosaurian, the shoulder blade could belong to any number of Triassic archosaurs and the lonesome tooth cannot be confidently assigned to anything.
On a positive note, the pubis and shin measure-up favourably so could belong to a single individual which is almost certainly a coelopysoid dinosaur, with its size and unusually robust build despite its tender years being just enough to distinguish it from the coelophysoid name-bearer, Coelophysis. That said, Kevin Padian described a similarly buff specimen of Coelophysis in 1986, but that one was much smaller.
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Triassic
Stage: Norian
Age range: 228-209 mya
Est. max. length: 6 meters
Est. max. hip height: 2 meters
Est. max. weight: 200 Kg
Diet: Carnivore
Family Tree:
• Parrish JM and Carpenter K (1986) "A new vertebrate fauna from the Dockum Formation (Late Triassic) of eastern New Mexico" in Pages 151-160 in Padian K (ed.) "The Beginning of the Age of Dinosaurs, Faunal change across the Triassic Jurassic Boundary".
• Padian K (1986) "On the type material of Coelophysis Cope (Saurischia: Theropoda) and a new specimen from the Petrified Forest of Arizona (Late Triassic: Chinle Formation)". Pages 45-60 in Padian K (ed.) "The Beginning of the Age of Dinosaurs, Faunal change across the Triassic Jurassic Boundary".
• Hunt AP (1994) "Vertebrate Paleontology and biostratigraphy of the Bull Canyon Formation (Chinle Group: Norian), east-central New Mexico with re-visions of the families Metoposauridae (Amphibia: Temnospondyli) and Parasuchidae (Reptilia: Archosauria). Unpublished PhD thesis, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 403 pp.
• Long RA and Murry PA (1995) "Late Triassic (Carnian and Norian) tetrapods from the Southwestern United States". New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 4: 1–254.
• Carpenter K (1997) "A giant coelophysoid (Ceratosauria) theropod from the Upper Triassic of New Mexico, USA". Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, Abhandlungen 205(2): 189-208.
• Hunt AP, Lucas SG, Heckert AB, Sullivan RM and Lockley MG (1998) "Late Triassic dinosaurs from the western United States". Geobios 31: 511-531.
• Sterling J. Nesbitt, Randall B. Irmis, William G. Parker (2007) "A critical re-evaluation of the Late Triassic dinosaur taxa of North America". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 5(2): 209–243
• Brett-Surman, Holtz and Farlow (2012) "The Complete Dinosaur: Second Edition".
• Paul GS (2010) "The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "GOJIRASAURUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 21st Feb 2018.