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Welcome to our ARCTOSAURUS entry...
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ARCTOSAURUS

a dubious archosauromorph from the Late Triassic of Nunavut, Canada.
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Pronunciation: ARK-to-SOR-us
Meaning: Arctic lizard
Author/s: Adams (1875)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Nunavut, Canada
Chart Position:

Arctosaurus osborni

Based, as it is, on a single neck bone, it's surprising that paleontologists have spent so much time fiddling with Arctosaurus. It was originally described as "a reptile of unknown affinities" (Adams 1875) and later tagged an anchisaurid sauropodomorph (Lydekker 1889), a chelonian (Huene 1906), a melanorosaurid (Huene 1956), and a thecodontosaurid (Romer 1966). Then Galton and Cluver (1976) granted it entry into Theropoda on the grounds of weight-saving openings in the sides of its vertebra — a feature known to boffins as "pleurocoels".

The term "pleurocoel" has been redefined in recent times, and in a critical review of Triassic dinosaurs in 2007 Sterling Nesbitt showed that Arctosaurus didn't have 'em. So this troublesome critter, once reported as "the first dinosaur ever described from Canada", fell a little short of its own headline by not actually being a dinosaur.
Discovery
Arctosaurus was discovered in the Heiberg Formation (Bathurst Group) on Cameron Island, Nunavut, Canada, by Captain Sherrard Osborn.
The holotype (NMI 62 1971) is a cervical (neck) vertebra.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Triassic
Stage: Uncertain
Age range: uncertain
Stats:
Est. max. length: ?
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: ?
Diet: Carnivore
Family Tree:
Animalia
Chordata
Reptilia
Sauria
Archosauromorpha
Archosauriformes
Arctosaurus
osborni
References
• A. L. Adams (1875) "On a fossil saurian vertebra, 'Arctosaurus osborni' from the Arctic region". Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 2:177-179.
• P. M. Galton and M. A. Cluver (1976) "Anchisaurus capensis (Broom) and a revision of the Anchisauridae". Annals of the South African Museum 69:121â159.
• Sterling J. Nesbitt, Randall B. Irmis and William G. Parker (2007) "A critical re-evaluation of the Late Triassic dinosaur taxa of North America".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "ARCTOSAURUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 19th Aug 2017.
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