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Welcome to our MANOSPONDYLUS entry...
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MANOSPONDYLUS

a synonym of Tyrannosaurus rex from the Late Cretaceous of North America.
tyrannosaurus
Pronunciation: MAN-o-SPON-di-lus
Meaning: Porous vertebrae
Author/s: E.D. Cope (1892)
Synonyms: Not applicable
First Discovery: South Dakota, USA
Chart Position:

Manospondylus gigas

For such a dino-wizz, Edward Drinker Cope was a little absent minded. He had a nasty habit of misplacing bones, particularly those from the spine, and he was up to his old tricks again in 1892 when one of two decrepit and oddly honey-combed vertebrae belonging to Manospondylus gigas went missing.

There were murmerings from the world of paleontology by non other than Henry Fairfield Osborn as early as 1917 regarding the similarity of its one remaining fossil and those of another Cretaceous predator but no-one took a blind bit of notice. Perhaps they thought it was too fragmentary to be diagnostic, though valid taxa have been based on less. The plot thickens...

In June 2000 the Black Hills Institute managed to pin-point the exact location of the original Manospondylus discovery, found more remains, and realised that they were identical to fossils belonging to... Tyrannosaurus rex! By strict letter of the ICZN's own law the name Manospondylus should take priority because it was officially described a full 13 years before T.rex but the establishment managed to neatly side-step any awkward questions regarding synonymity long enough to come up with a ruling which put all naming issues to bed. Forever.

As of 1st of January 2000 a dinosaur presumed valid in at least 25 works and published by 10 authors over a period of 50 years cannot be replaced by one that was considered invalid (due to diagnostic issues, for example) during that time. Ergo, the Tyrant Lizard King is fully protected, at least name-wise, for all time and its only worry now is old Jack Horner and his one-man-mission to tar it with the scavenger brush.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Cretaceous
Stage: Maastrichtian
Age range: 67-66 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 13 meters
Est. max. hip height: 4.2 meters
Est. max. weight: 7 tons
Diet: Carnivore
References
• Osborn, Henry Fairfield (1917) "Skeletal adaptations of Ornitholestes, Struthiomimus, Tyrannosaurus". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. v. 35, article 43.
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "MANOSPONDYLUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 23rd Jun 2017.
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