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Crumbs .. Late Jurassic .. USA .. Arundel .. Herbivore .. Sauropoda ..

PLEUROCOELUS

a plant-eating sauropod (and probable synonym of Astrodon) from the Late Jurassic of North America.
Pronunciation: ploor-oh-SEE-luss
Meaning: Hollow sided
Author/s: Marsh (1888)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Maryland, USA
Chart Position:

Pleurocoelus nanus

In 1858 some sauropod remains were discovered in the Arundel Formation near Bladensburg, Maryland by Philip Tyson and named Astrodon —"star tooth"— by Christopher Johnston, a dentist no less, and 29 years later more were discovered in the same formation, this time near Muirkirk, by John Bell Hatcher. True to form, there was no way that O.C. Marsh was ever going to assign the second batch of remains to a previously named dinosaur, especially one that someone else had named, so he coined Pleurocoelus nanus and Pleurocoelus altus in 1888.

It was Hatcher himself who first questioned the prescence of more than one sauropod in the Arundel in 1903, followed by Charles Gilmore in 1921, and Carpenter and Tidwell in 2005. Despite being named on the strength of a pair of teeth—one of which was sawed into slices—Astrodon is apparently diognostic and valid, and as it was named first it is the only valid name for all of the Arundel sauropod material.

Problem is, Texas and Maryland had adopted Pleurocoelus and Astrodon as their official state dinosaurs respectively, but our suggestion of a good ol' bout of fisticuffs to settle the issue fell on deaf ears and Texas finally admitted defeat. On the 19th June 2009, by a landslide margin of 7 "ayes" to 0 "nays", the designation of the Official Dinosaur of the Lone Star state was changed to Paluxysaurus jonesi, which wasn't an attempted stealth-renaming of Pleurocoelus but a hitherto unknown sauropod whose "tracks and bones litter the Jones Ranch" near Glen Rose, central Texas, and spent many-a-year wrongly assigned to Pleurocoelus. It was sunk into Sauroposeidon in 2012.

You may think that's the end of the story as far as Pleurocoelus goes, but there's still a Pleurocoelus valdensis (Lydekker, 1890) from the Wessex Formation of England, hanging in there by the skin of its teeth... because it's also known only from teeth.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Jurassic
Stage: Aptian-Albian
Age range: 125-112 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 15 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 18 Kg
Diet: Herbivore
References
• Kenneth Carpenter and Virginia Tidwell (2005) "Reassessment of the Early Cretaceous Sauropod Astrodon johnsoni Leidy 1865 (Titanosauriformes)" in "Thunder Lizards: The Sauropodomorph Dinosaurs".
• Othniel Charles Marsh (1888) "Notice of a new genus of Sauropoda and other dinosaurs from the Potomac Formation".
• Peter J. Rose (2007) "A new titanosauriform sauropod (Dinosauria: Saurischia) from the Early Cretaceous of central Texas and its phylogenetic relationships".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "PLEUROCOELUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 27th Apr 2017.
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