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MYMOORAPELTA

a plant-eating ankylosaurian dinosaur from the Late Jurassic of North America.
Pronunciation: mie-MOHR-uh-PEL-tuh
Meaning: Shield of Mygatt-Moore
Author/s: Kirkland and Carpenter (1994)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Colorado, USA
Chart Position: 321

Mymoorapelta maysi

Mymoorapelta was the first Jurassic-aged ankylosaur named from North America and, at three meters in length yet fully grown, is the smallest adult quadropedal dinosaur known from the Morrison Formation. But despite being of modest size it's been a bit of a trouble maker, whipping up no end of controversy regarding its position within Ankylosauria—the armour-plated branch of "shield-bearing" dinosaurs known collectively as tyreophorans.

When they named it in 1994, Kirkland and Carpenter were convinced that Mymoorapelta was a shoo-in polacanthid because of hollow-based triangular armour plates, a fused hip-shield and grooved spines on its vertebrae, similar to those found on the name-bearer Polacanthus. Vickaryous et al. disagreed in 2004, believing it to be far too primitive to be accurately compared to any known ankylosaur, and as such couldn't be classified as anything more specific than Ankylosauria incertae sedis (of uncertain placement). They came to the same conclusion with Dracopelta the same year. To further muddy already muddy waters, it shares some features with primitive stegosaurs such as Huayangosaurus and Kentrosaurus, particularly in the proportions of its massive ulna (a lower arm bone) and curved ilium (a hip bone), which, if nothing else, suggests it may have held a stegosaurian-type stance, with short powerful forelimbs and its narrow hips set high.

Similarities have been noted between the ulna of Mymoorapelta and a corresponding bone from the Bearreraig Sandstone Formation of Bearreraig Bay on the Isle of Skye. All has been quiet on the possibility of Bonny Scotland and western Colorado sharing a similar Jurassic fauna since 2000, so maybe the Scottish bone doesn't belong to an ankylosaur after all.
[May's Mygatt-Moore (Quarry) Shield]Etymology
Mymoorapelta honors Peter and Marilyn Mygatt, and John and Vanetta Moore, who stumbled upon the Mygatt-Moore Quarry in march 1981. "Pelta", which is a common suffix for armoured dinosaurs, means "shield" in Greek.
The species epithet, maysi, honors Chris Mays; president of the Dinamation Corporation and founder of the not-for-profit Dinamation International Society.
Discovery
Mymoorapelta was discovered at Mygatt-Moore Quarry (MWC Loc. 1.05.86)—which is thought to represent a watering hole—in the Brushy Basin Member of the Morrison Formation, Mesa County, western Colorado, USA, by Peter and Marilyn Mygatt and John and Vanetta Moore in March of 1981.
The holotype (MWC 1815) consists of a left Ilium (the uppermost bone of the hip). Other material from the site, apparently pertaining to a single individual due to a lack of overlapping parts, includes four back vertebrae (MWC 1800-1803), seven tail vertebrae (MWC 1804-1808 and MCW1839 a-b), ribs (MWC 1809-1813 and MCW 1840), a right ulna (MCW 1814), hand bones (MCW 1816-1817 and MCW 939), and numerous armour plates and spines (MCW 1818-1838). All fossils look like they have been gnawed on, but it's impossible to tell whether its killer was responsible or if it was scavenged after death
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Jurassic
Stage: Kimmeridgian
Age range: 156-151 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 3 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 300 Kg
Diet: Herbivore
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Ornithischia
Thyreophora
Ankylosauria
Mymoorapelta
maysi
References
• Kirkland JI and Carpenter K (1994) "North America's first pre-Cretaceous Anklylosaur from the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation of Western Colorado". BYU GEOLOGY STUDIES 1994, VOL. 40.
• Paul GS (2010) "The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "MYMOORAPELTA :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 21st Aug 2017.
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