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ACHELOUSAURUS

a herbivorous centrosaurine ceratopsid dinosaur from the Late Jurassic of North America.
Achelousaurus
Pronunciation: ak-e-LOW-uh-SOR-us
Meaning: Achelous' lizard
Author/s: Scott Sampson (1994)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Montana, USA
Chart Position: 333

Achelousaurus horneri

Achelousaurus is an early cretaceous centrosaurine ceratopsian, a quadrupedal "horn faced" plant muncher, and is named after Achelous - a shapeshifting river God from Greek mythology. At the mercy of testosterone, Achelous incited the wrath of Heracles by groping his wife Deianeira and during the ensuing battle he was smacked senseless by the furious demi-god and had one of his horns ripped off. Achelousaurus on the other hand (err... face) didn't have horns per se, just bony brillo-pads where one might expect ceratopsian brow and snout horns to be but, like most centrosaurines, its frill was adorned with horn-like prongs, in this case two, right on the apex.

Its snout "horn" inparticular has prompted plenty of speculation, with one theory being another snappy reference to Achelous and his shape-shifting tendencies. Early reports suggested that the forward-curving "can-opener" nose horn of fellow-Montanan centrosaurine Einiosaurus carried on curving until it was reabsorbed by the snout and formed a huge bony boss, a hallmark of the latest-living centrosaurine Pachyrhinosaurus, and that Achelousaurus, neither horned nor bossed, was a stepping stone amidst this evolution in progress. Whether or not this is the case all three are currently each other's closest relatives and dwell within a centrosaurine sub-group or "tribe" known as Pachyrhinosaurini.
Horner's Achelous LizardEtymology
Achelousaurus is derived from "Achelous" (a Greek river deity) and "sauros" (lizard). The species epithet, Horneri, honors American Paleontologist Jack horner who made some major discoveries in the area, including "egg mountain" - the home of Maiasaura.
Discovery
The remains of Achelousaurus were discovered in the Two Medicine Formation of Montana, U.S.A.
The Holotype (MOR 485) is an an almost complete skull.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Jurassic
Stage: Campanian
Age range: 80-73 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 6 meters
Est. max. hip height: 2.6 meters
Est. max. weight: 2.5 tons
Diet: Herbivore
References
• P. Dodson, C.A. Forster and S.D. Sampson (2004) "Ceratopsidae" in Weishampel, Dodson & and Osmólska (eds.) "The Dinosauria: Seconnd Edition".
• S.D. Sampson (1995) "Two new horned dinosaurs from the Upper Cretaceous Two Medicine Formation; with a phylogenetic analysis of the Centrosaurinae".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "ACHELOUSAURUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 16th Dec 2017.
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