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ADELOLOPHUS

a herbivorous lambeosaurine hadrosaurid dinosaur from the Late Jurassic of North America.
Pronunciation: ah-dell-o-LOW-fuhs
Meaning: Unknown crest
Author/s: Gates et al. (2014)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Utah, USA
Chart Position: 733

Adelolophus hutchisoni

Cretaceous carnivorous dinosaurs—with their big teeth, aggressive streak and penchant for death-dealing—have always been total media hogs, but let's not forget; fossil-bearing rocks of the 90-80 mya bracket in western North America have yielded a number of well-represented, well preserved and really interesting herbivorous dinosaurs in recent times. And also Adelolophus hutchisoni. Its remains were initially described in 2013 by Gates et al. who noted striking similarities to fellow lambeosaurines like Corythosaurus, Hypacrosaurus and Parasaurolophus in features of the maxilla—a bone of upper jaw— but they refrained from giving it a name, perhaps because this single bone represents the entirety of its remains and they didn't fancy their chances against the laws of probability. How things can change.

Adelolophus was officially announced in a 2014 volume on hadrosaurs and blessed with a generic name that aptly reflects the fact that the holotype preserves no crest, making a life reconstruction of its skull impossible. On the plus side, along with Jaxartosaurus, Aralosaurus, and Kazaklambia, Adelolophus is one of the oldest lambeosaurines worldwide and represents the oldest known from North America, even out-aging the crested hadrosaurs of Canada. But age alone does not make it unique. And there doesn't seem to be an awful lot that does.

Some experts might struggle to take Adelolophus seriously as it's known only from a single piece of jawbone... from a juvenile... that's obscured by iron oxide-rich sediment... and of uncertain provenance, though naming a hadrosaur from a maxilla is not unprecedented. The Texan Angulomastacator is based on such a bone, as is the dubious species Didanodon altidens. In fact, paleontology is littered with cases of so much being squeezed from so little, though it's often on a whim, and sometimes it creates taxonomic tangles that must be unravelled at a later date. Adelolophus could well be one example, but may not be the first for its exuberant and well-intentioned lead author.

Earlier in 2014, Gates and Scheetz announced another "all new" hadrosaurid, this time from Utah's Neslen Formation, that had flirted with fame in 1999 via well-preserved patches of its scaly skin. But it also remained nameless, possibly because its skeleton was still stuck in the ground. Having chiselled rock away from its skull a huge nose was immediately apparent, and although every thing about it screamed "Gryposaurus"—even their own analysis... twice—they named it Rhinorex condrupus anyway. Just sayin'.
(Hutchison's unknown jaw)Etymology
Adelolophus is derived from the Greek "adelo" (unknown) and "lophos" (crest). The species epithet, hutchisoni, honors Dr. Howard Hutchison who discovered the holotype.
Discovery
The remains of Adelolophus were discovered in the Wahweap Formation, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Garfield County, Utah, USA, by Howard Hutchison in 1999.
The holotype (UCMP 152028) is a piece of upper jaw. Apparently, two more lambeosaurine specimens were found nearby, but they can't be assigned here with any certainty.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Jurassic
Stage: Campanian
Age range: 81-79 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: ?
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: ?
Diet: Herbivore
References
• T.A. Gates, Z. Jinnah, C. Levitt and M.A. Getty (2014) "New hadrosaurid (Dinosauria, Ornithopoda) specimens from the Lower-Middle Campanian Wahweap Formation of southern Utah" [pgs.156-173] in Eberth and Evans "Hadrosaurs".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "ADELOLOPHUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 22nd Oct 2017.
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