Episode 380 is all about Anodontosaurus, An ankylosaurid known for its broad pointy tail club.
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In this episode, we discuss:
- Two new species of Tyrannosaurus have been proposed, Tyrannosaurus imperator and Tyrannosaurus regina source
- A new alvarezsaurid, Ondogurvel alifanovi, was described from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia source
- A new hadrosaurid, Kelumapusaura machi, was named from Patagonia and Huallasaurus australis was split from Kritosaurus source
- “Rexor” the T. rex is on display in Manhattan as part of the Art in the Parks open air gallery source
The dinosaur of the day: Anodontosaurus
- Ankylosaur that lived in the Late Cretaceous in what is now Alberta, Canada (Horseshoe Canyon Formation)
- Looked like other ankylosaurs, low to the ground, on four legs, covered in armor, with a club tail
- Body covered in armor, and had a wide, pointed tail club
- Tail club was wider than long
- Had small polygonal plates of bone behind the eye
- Two species: Anodontosaurus lambei and Anodontosaurus inceptus
- Type species is Anodontosaurus lambei
- Fossils found in 1916 by Sternberg
- Named in 1929 by Charles M. Sternberg
- Holotype is a partially preserved skeleton that includes the skull and armor, including the first cervical half ring (but skeleton was badly crushed)
- Genus name means “toothless lizard”
- Based on the fact that the crushing/compression of the skeleton made it lose its teeth and shift some flat, round elements from below the skull to the top of the lower jaw, so Sternberg thought there were large “trituration plates” instead of teeth
- Species name is in honor of Lawrence Lambe
- In 1986 Coombs found one specimen of Anodontosaurus to be a juvenile, based on sacral ribs not being fused to vertebrae (though he considered Anodontosaurus to be Euoplocephalus)
- Included ribs, vertebrae, right hindlimb, feet, and other fragments
- In 1971 Walter Coombs said there was only one type of ankylosaur during the Campanian in North America. He synonymized Anodontosaurus, Dyoplosaurus, and Scolosaurus with Euoplocephalus, but didn’t really explain why (mentioned differences in skull size and shape but no skull known for Dyoplosaurus or Scolosaurus)
- Then Victoria Arbour and others redescribed Dyoplosaurus and said it was valid in 2009, and in 2010 said Anodontosaurus was also distinct based on the tail club, skull ornamentation, and triangular knob osteoderms. She reassigned all the ankylosaurine specimens from Horseshoe Canyon Formation that were considered to Euoplocephalus to Anodontosaurus, based on them having consistently similar tail club knots, so it suggested they were all from the same taxon
- Three studies in 2013 also said Anodontosaurus was valid (Scolosaurus was also found to be valid)
- Arbour and Phil Currie also referred a specimen from Dinosaur Park Formation to Anodontosaurus (lived a few million years earlier than other specimens)
- In 2018 Paul Penkalski made that specimen the holotype of the new species Anodontosaurus inceptus
- Other dinosaurs that lived around the same time and place include the troodontid Albertavenator, the caenagnathids Apatoraptor and Epichirostenotes, ceratopsians Arrhinoceratops and Pachyrhinosaurus, ornithomimids Ornithomimus and Struthiomimus, hadrosaurs Edmontosaurus, Hypacrosaurus, Parksosaurus, Saurolophus, and the tyrannosaur Albertosaurus
- Anodontosaurus is in the game Path of Titans
Fun Fact: Most dinosaur genera only have a single species and there are several good reasons why.
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