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CETIOSAURISCUS

a plant-eating possible diplodocid sauropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of England.
image
Pronunciation: see-TEE-o-sor-ISS-kus
Meaning: Cetiosaurus-like
Author/s: von Huene (1927)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Peterborough, England
Chart Position: 118

Cetiosauriscus stewarti

In 1887, John Whittaker Hulke named Ornithopsis Leedsii (uppercase "L") based on fragmentary remains (BMNH R1985–1988) from the Kellaways Formation near Peterborough, but in 1889 Seeley opined that this species was referable to Cetiosaurus as Cetiosaurus leedsii (lowercase "l") which was generally accepted. Sixteen years later, Smith Woodward referred more remains to it, including R1984 (four vertebrae) and R1967 (a tail) from mystery locations in the Peterborough Member (previously the lower Oxford Clay), and BMNH R3078 (a partial skeleton) from the Oxford Clay Formation of Fletton, but in 1927 Friedrich von Huene decided that "Cetiosaurus leedsii" neeeded its own name and chose Cetiosauriscus—"whale-like lizard-like", in honor of Cetiosaurus—the whale-like lizard. We like whales. Especially the chocolate ones.

When Charig and Chapman revisited the remnants of Cetiosauriscus leedsii in 1980, they couldn't help noticing that they were not only disjointed and pertained to three different individuals, two of which were from unknown quarries, with no overlapping parts for comparison (barring a useless ilium), but also that von Huene had justified "the move" based on unique features of R3078 which he listed as the holotype, when the Cetiosaurus leedsii holotype is actually R1985–1988. So, they removed R3078 and renamed it Cetiosauriscus stewarti, succesfully petitioned the ICZN to have their creation installed as the Cetiosauriscus type specimen in 1993 and the rest, as they say, is history. What was left of Cetiosaurus leedsii has sunk from the radar, and specimens assigned to Cetiosauriscus from Cetiosaurus since — Cetiosauriscus longus and Cetiosauriscus glymptonensis — have been given the brush-off and quietly drifted into the mists of time. Cetiosauriscus (previously Cetiosaurus) greppini waits patiently for a new name as it seems to belong to a different critter entirely.

Cetiosauriscus was classified as a member of Cardiodontinae within Cetiosauridae by Von Huene way back in 1927. Since then it has been considered a brachiosaurid based on like-for-like vertebrae, and a diplodocid because of double chevrons on a "whip-like" tail, all of which it no longer owns, while some researchers have suggested it could be a mamenchisaurid instead. If it is a diplodocid it would be the oldest known, but most paleontologists seem content to list it as a neosauropod and leave it at that, at least until better remains turn up.
Etymology
Cetiosauriscus is derived from "Cetiosaurus" (the whale-like lizard) and the Latin "iscus" (resembling, like). The species epithet, stewarti, honors Sir Ronald Stewart; chairman of the brick company that owned the clay pit in which the fossils were found.
Discovery
The fossils of Cetiosauriscus were discovered in the Oxford Clay Formation at the New Peterborough Brick Company Limited's (NPBCL) pit number 2, Fletton, near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England. They were collected in 1898 by Alfred Leeds who sold them to the British Museum of Natural History (with some other remains) in February of the following year for the princely sum of £250.
The holotype (BMNH R3078) is a series of vertebrae, the left hind leg, a partial hip, and the right front leg.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Middle Jurassic
Stage: Bathonian-Callovian
Age range: 165-161 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 15 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 14 tons
Diet: Herbivore
References
• von Huene F (1927) "Short review of the present knowledge of the Sauropoda".
• von Huene F (1927). "Sichtung der Grundlagen der jetzigen Kenntnis der Sauropoden [Review of the elements of the present knowledge of the sauropods]". Eclogae Geologica Helveticae. 20: 444–470.
Charig AJ (1980) "A diplodocid sauropod from the Lower Cretaceous of England" In L. L. Jacobs "Aspects of Vertebrate History: Essays in Honor of Edwin Harris Colbert". Museum of Northern Arizona Press. pp. 231–244.
• Charig AJ (1993) "Case 2876. Cetiosauriscus von Huene, 1927 (Reptilia, Sauropodomorpha): proposed designation of C. stewarti Charig, 1980 as the type species".
• Upchurch P and J Martin (2002) "The anatomy and taxonomy of Cetiosaurus from the Middle Jurassic of England". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 23: 208–231.
• Holtz TR Jr (2008) "The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages".
• Moody RTJ, E Buffetaut, D Naish and DM Martill (2010) "Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Saurians: A Historical Perspective". Geological Society of London Special Publications; No. 343.
• Naish D and DM Martill (2007) "Dinosaurs of Great Britain and the role of the Geological Society of London in their discovery: basal Dinosauria and Saurischia". Journal of the Geological Society, London, Vol. 164, pp. 493–510.
• Noè LF, JJ Liston and SD Chapman (2010) "Old bones, dry subject: the dinosaurs and pterosaur collected by Alfred Nicholson Leeds of Peterborough, England". Geological Society, London, Special Publications, v. 343; p. 49-77. doi:10.1144/SP343.4.
• Shwartz D, CA Meyer, O Wings, J Le Loeuff (2007) "Revision of Cetiosauriscus greppini – new results and perspectives". Fifth Meeting of the European Association of Vertebrate Paleontologists Abstract Volume: 57–58.
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "CETIOSAURISCUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 22nd Aug 2017.
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