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GLACIALISAURUS

a plant-eating massospondylid sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Early Jurassic of Antarctica.
Pronunciation: glay-see-al-ee-SOR-us
Meaning: Icy lizard
Author/s: Smith and Pol (2007)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Beardmore, Antarctica
Chart Position: 495

Glacialisaurus hammeri

Tentatively referred to Plateosauridae by Hammer and Hickerson in 1996, Glacialisaurus was discovered 4,100 meters up the side of a mountain in Antarctica alongside the tooth of a goofy, rodent-like reptile known as a trilodont, a pterosaur's funny bone, and a theropod whose headcrest resembles Elvis Presley's pompadour hairdo. We're not making this up!

More detailed study in 2007 showed that Glacialisaurus was actually a member of Massospondylidae — a family of robust non-sauropod sauropodomorphs, whose members are more advanced than the likes of Saturnalia and Plateosaurus but more primitive than their much larger and advanced relatives, the sauropods. Furthermore, Glacialisaurus was closely allied with Lufengosaurus from the Lufeng Formation of China which added its weight to the theory that "prosauropods" survived into the Early Jurassic and that they lived, for a short time, alongside the earliest sauropods proper. Then they all starved to death because they couldn't compete with their bigger, hungrier relatives. Probably.

As of 2012, Glacialisaurus (the first Antarctic sauropodomorph), Cryolophosaurus (the first Antarctic theropod), Antarctopelta (the first Antarctic ornithischian), and Trinisaura (the first Antarctic ornithopod), are the only confirmed dinosaurs from Antarctica, but other dinosaurian fossils have been discovered there which have yet to be properly scrutinized.
(Hammer's Icy/Frozen Lizard) Etymology
Glacialisaurus is derived from the Latin "glacialis" (icy or frozen) in reference to its place of discovery, and the Greek "sauros" (lizard). The species epithet, hammeri, honors Dr. William R. Hammer (Augustana College, Rock Island, USA), for his contributions to vertebrate paleontology and Antarctic research.
Discovery
The remains of Glacialisaurus were discovered in the tuffaceous siltstones and mudstones of the lower Hanson Formation, around 4,100 meters up Mount Kirkpatrick (the highest point in the Queen Alexandra Range and the Transantarctic Mountains), Beardmore Glacier region, Antarctica, in the same quarry as Cryolophosaurus by William Hammer in the austral summer of 1990–1991. The holotype (FMNH PR1823) consists of bones from the right ankle and foot. A partial right thigh bone (FMNH PR1822) was also discovered.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Early Jurassic
Stage: Pliensbachian
Age range: 189-183 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 7 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 200 Kg
Diet: Herbivore
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Sauropodomorpha
Massospondylidae
Glacialisaurus
hammeri
References
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "GLACIALISAURUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 25th Apr 2017.
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