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CRUXICHEIROS

a meat-eating tetanuran theropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of England.
Pronunciation: croo-ee-KEE-ross
Meaning: Cross hand
Author/s: Benson and Radley (2010)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Warwickshire, England
Chart Position: 555

Cruxicheiros newmanorum

Sometimes the most interesting dinosaurs have been hidden away in dusty old museum corners for decades before anyone gives them a second glance, and this was the case with Cruxicheiros newmanorum, whose remains had been loitering at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery since the 1960s.

Initially assigned to Megalosauridae on the grounds of being a large English theropod, Cruxicheiros is known only from a partial thighbone discovered at Cross Hands Quarry in 1960 and a few lumps and fragments found in the same area some time later. A transfer back to its native Warwickshire in 2008 prompted a long overdue restudy but the results were a little disappointing, mainly because there are no guarantees that its remains all pertain to the same individual, the same species or even the same family.

In 2010 Benson and Radley had three cracks at cladistic analysis which led to three very different but equally plausible conclusions: Cruxicheiros is either the most basal member of Neotetanurae (the lineage leading to Allosaurus and birds), a member of Megalosauroidea (the lineage leading to Megalosaurus and Spinosaurus), or the most basal tetanuran (whose earliest members pre-dated the Neotetanurae and Megalosauroidea split). With so much uncertainty they plumped for the latter but refused to be drawn on more specific affinities, and you can't really blame them.
(The Newman family's cross hand)Etymology
Cruxicheiros is derived from the Latin "crux" (cross) and the Greek "cheiros" (hand) because it was discovered at Cross Hands Quarry. Clever, eh?
The species epithet, newmanorum, honors the Newman family, the owners of said quarry.
Discovery
The first remains of Cruxicheiros were discovered at Cross Hands Quarry in the Chipping Norton Limestone Formation (Great Oolite Group), Nr. Little Compton, Warwickshire, England.
The holotype (WARMS G15770) consists of a partial right thighbone (femur). Several referred vertebrae, a partial pelvis and shoulder girdle, and numerous rib and bone fragments sport the same matrix as the holotype which suggests they were from the same area, perhaps the same individual.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Middle Jurassic
Stage: Bathonian
Age range: 167-164 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 9 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 2.5 tons
Diet: Carnivore
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Tetanurae
incertae sedis
Cruxicheiros
newmanorum
References
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "CRUXICHEIROS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 23rd Mar 2017.
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