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ANIMANTARX

a herbivorous nodosaurid ankylosaurian dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of North America.
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Pronunciation: an-i-MAN-tahrks
Meaning: Living fortress
Author/s: Carpenter et al. (1999)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Utah, USA
Chart Position: 369

Animantarx ramaljonesi

Animantarx caused a bit of a stir in 1999 when it became the first dinosaur to be discovered by technology alone. Ramal Jones, now-retired University of Utah radiologist, scanned the surface of the Cedar Mountain Formation's Mussentuchit Member for radioactivity (yes, bones are radioactive—at least in this area) and his modified scintillometer discovered fossils that were completely buried under the muck. His wife Carole, after whom the quarry was later named, found the remains of Eolambia here a year earlier but had to use the sweat and toil method.

Briefly described as "a Pawpawsaurus-like nodosaurid" by D.L. Burge in 1996, Animantarx was officially named in 1999 and although its remains were mostly crushed and mangled the bits that paleontologists managed to salvage sport both familiar and weird features. It is a member of Nodosauridae; the spined, lightly armoured and non-tail-clubbed critters who co-occupy Ankylosauria alongside the non-spined, heavily armoured and club-tailed Ankylosauridae. But while its highly domed skull is a feature also seen in fellow nodosaurids Struthiosaurus, Pawpawsaurus and Silvisaurus, it's unique in having a small hornlet behind each eye socket and on each cheek, and a lower jaw that is armoured along half of its length.
Ramal Jones' living citadelEtymology
Animantarx is derived from the Latin "animans" or "animantis" (living or animated) and "arx" (citadel or fortress), based on Richard Swan Lull's 1914 declaration that ankylosaurs were "animated citadels" that must have been "practically unassailable!"
The species epithet, ramaljonesi, honors its discoverer: retired University of Utah radiologist Ramal Jones.
Discovery
The remains of Animantarx were discovered at Carol Jones Quarry, aka "Carol's site" (42EM366V), in the Mussentuchit Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation near the San Rafael Swell, Emery County, Utah. The presence of fish, frogs and mudstone suggest this was a floodplain environment.
The holotype (CEUM 6228R, housed in the collections of the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum in Price, Utah) includes a lower jaw, the rear half of the skull, neck and back vertebrae, both shoulder girdles, two hip bones (the left ilium and ischium), a right humerus and a left thigh.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Early Cretaceous
Stage: Albian
Age range: 102-99 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 3 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 300 Kg
Diet: Herbivore
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Ornithischia
Thyreophora
Ankylosauria
Nodosauridae
Animantarx
ramaljonesi
References
• Gillette D.D. (1999) "Vertebrate paleontology in Utah". /uk. Page 246.
• Jones R.D. & Burge D.L. (1995) "Radiological surveying as a method for mapping dinosaur bone sites". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 15: 38A.
• Carpenter K., Kirkland J.I, Burge D.L. & Bird J. (1999) "Ankylosaurs (Dinosauria: Ornithischia) of the Cedar Mountain Formation, Utah, and their stratigraphic distribution" in "Vertebrate Paleontology in Utah".
• Carpenter K. (2001) "The Armored Dinosaurs (life of the past)".
• Vickaryous M.K, Maryańska T., and Weishampel D.B (2004) "Ankylosauria" in Weishampel, Dodson and Osmólska (eds.) "The Dinosauria: Second Edition".
• Paul G.S. (2010) "The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "ANIMANTARX :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 19th Aug 2017.
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