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ALTISPINAX

a carnivorous tetanuran theropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Germany.
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Pronunciation: AL-ti-SPIEN-aks
Meaning: High-spined
Author/s: von Huene (1923)
Synonyms: Megalosaurus dunkeri (Dames 1884)
First Discovery: Lower Saxony, Germany
Chart Position: 104

Altispinax dunkeri

Altispinax was named by Friedrich von Huene in 1923 for part of the material that Richard Lydekker had removed from Megalosaurus bucklandii and assigned, along with almost all of the British Museum's Wealden theropod collection, to Megalosaurus dunkeri in 1888. The name, "high spined", was coined for a series of three vertebrae discovered by Samuel Beckles in East Sussex, England, with ascending, paddle-like spines five times longer than the vertebrae to which they were attached. However, Altispinax is no longer attached to these vertebrae, and it isn't English... it's German.
(Dunker's high-spined one)Etymology
Altispinax is derived from the Latin "altus" (high) and "spina" (thorn, spine), alluding to the high-spined vertebrae which were once assigned here. The species epithet, dunkeri, honors Dunker who discovered its remains many years before it was formally named.
Discovery
The remains of Altispinax were discovered in the Obernkirchen Sandstein in the Deister Hills of Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony), Germany, by German paleontologist Wilhelm Dunker. The holotype (UM 84) is a single, nondescript theropod tooth.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Early Cretaceous
Stage: Barremian
Age range: 130-125 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: ?
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: ?
Diet: Carnivore
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Tetanurae?
Altispinax
dunkeri
Other Species
Altispinax oweni was coined by Friedrich von Huene in 1923 for BMNH R2559—three metatarsals from the Early Jurassic Tunbridge Wells Sand Formation in Cuckfield that Owen had assigned to the herbivorous Hylaeosaurus in 1858. Part of the pile of British Museum remains that Richard Lydekker assigned to Megalosaurus dunkeri in 1888, these foot bones were renamed Megalosaurus oweni by Lydekker a mere year later, and George Olshevsky used them to raise Valdoraptor in 1995.
Altispinax parkeri was coined by Friedrich von Huene in 1932 for OUM J.12144—a partial hip, leg and backbones from Jordan's Cliff at Weymouth that he had named Megalosaurus parkeri himself in 1923! In 1964 this material was renamed Metriacanthosaurus by Alick Walker.
Altispinax lydekkerhueneorum was coined by S. Pickering in 1995 for BMNH R1828, the name-prompting vertebrae that, after a stint as Acrocanthosaurus altispinax (Paul, 1988), were renamed Becklespinax altispinax (George Olshevsky, 1995). Altispinax lydekkerhueneorum is therefore a junior synonym of Becklespinax altispinax.
Altispinax altispinax was coined in 2003 Oliver Rahaut. The name is ridiculous, and thankfully nothing more than a junior synonym of Becklespinax altispinax... which isn't much better.
References
• Dames, W.B. (1885) "Vorlegung eines Zahnes von Megalosaurus aus den Wealden des Deisters". Sitzungsberichte der Gesellschaft naturforschender Freunde zu Berlin, Jahrbuch 1884, 36: 186-188
• R. Lydekker (1889) "Note on some points in the nomenclature of fossil reptiles and amphibians, with preliminary notices of two new species".
• Huene (1923) "Carnivorous Saurischia in Europe since the Triassic. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America. 34: 449-458. [coins Altispinax]
• Lydekker, R. (1888) "Catalogue of the Fossil Reptilia and Amphibia in the British Museum (Natural History), Cromwell Road, S.W., Part 1. Containing the Orders Ornithosauria, Crocodilia, Dinosauria, Squamta, Rhynchocephalia, and Proterosauria". British Museum of Natural History, London, 309pp.
• Huene (1926) "The carnivorous Saurischia in the Jura and Cretaceous formations, principally in Europe". Revista del Museo de La Plata. 29, 1-167.
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "ALTISPINAX :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 24th Feb 2017.
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