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YAVERLANDIA

a meat-eating maniraptoran theropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of England.
Pronunciation: ya-vuhr-LAN-dee-uh
Meaning: for Yaverland
Author/s: Galton (1971)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Isle of Wight, UK
Chart Position: 179

Yaverlandia bitholus

In 1930, Watson (and later Swinton, 1936) referred a partial skull cap from Yaverland point on the Isle of White to Vectisaurus. But when Steel (1969) followed Hulke (1879) in listing the latter as an iguanodontid, Peter Galton nobbled said bone, renamed it Yaverlandia, and assigned it to Pachycephalosauria — a group of thick-headed, herbivorous dinosaurs affectionately known as "headbangers".

Based on the Early Cretaceous age of its Wessex Formation home, Yaverlandia was long thought to represent the oldest known pachycephalosaur, and despite being based on meagre remains had managed to survive many pachycephalosaurian taxonomic reviews. However, aspersions were cast on its family ties in 2000 by Sullivan who removed said skull cap — weakly domed and very thick — from pachycephalosauria because it lacked the features present in all definite members. Though its kinship was anyone's guess until Darren Naish subjected it to CT scans as part of his 2006 dissertation, which has yet to be published.

Just like the Madagascan Majungatholus that was misidentified for two decades because of its thick, domed skull roof, Yaverlandia also turned out to be a meat-eating theropod, though they're hardly in the same league. While Majungatholus turned out to be Majungasaurus and a large, gnarley-skulled abelisaurid, Yaverlandia is most probably a small, feathered maniraptoran — a group of coelurosaurian theropods that also includes the sloth-like therizinosaurs, the weird alvarezsaurids and wrongly-accused egg-snatching oviraptorids, and also modern birds. The rumour mill is suggesting it may be a troodontid.
(Yaverland's twin dome)Etymology
Yaverlandia is named after Yaverland Point, its place of its discovery.
The species epithet (or specific name), bitholus, is derived from the Latin "bi" (two) and the Greek "tholos" (dome), in reference to the twin domes on its skull roof.
Discovery
The remains of Yaverlandia were discovered at Yaverland Point (aka Yaverland battery) in the Wessex Formation, Sandown, Isle of Wight, England.
The holotype (MIWG 1530) is a skull cap, 45mm long.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Early Cretaceous
Stage: Barremian
Age range: 136-125 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 1 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 6 Kg
Diet: Carnivore
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Tetanurae
Maniraptora
Yaverlandia
bitholus
References
• Watson, D.M.S (1930) Proceedings of the Isle of Wight Natural History Society. 2, 60.
• Galton, P.M. (1971) "A primitive dome-headed dinosaur (Ornithischia: Pachycephalosauridae) from the Lower Cretaceous of England and the function of the dome of pachycephalosaurids". Journal of Paleontology, Vol. 45, No. 1, Pages 40–47.
• David B. Norman (1992) "A review of Vectisaurus valdensis, with comments on the family Iguanodontidae" in "Dinosaur Systematics: Approaches and Perspectives".
• Darren Naish and David M. Martill (2008) "Dinosaurs of Great Britain and the role of the Geological Society of London in their discovery: Ornithischia".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "YAVERLANDIA :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 27th Jun 2017.
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