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LORICATOSAURUS

a plant-eating stegosaurian dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of England.
loricatosaurus.png
Pronunciation: lo-ree-KAH-to-SOR-us
Meaning: Armoured lizard
Author/s: Maidment et al. (2008)
Synonyms: Stegosaurus priscus
First Discovery: Peterborough, England
Chart Position: 520

Loricatosaurus priscus

Loricatosaurus consists of a partial skeleton from the Fletton brick pits that Nopcsa named Stegosaurus priscus in 1911, plus some fragmentary fossils from Normandy. But they were all bundled into Lexovisaurus durobrivensis by French paleontologist Robert Hoffstetter in 1957, and that's where they stayed for over half a century.

The problem is; Hoffstetter explicitly anchored Lexovisaurus with a Tanholt brick pit holotype that Hulke had named Omosaurus durobrivensis in 1887 and Lucas renamed Dacentrurus durobrivensis in 1902. So, if that specimen turned out to be non-diagnostic it would compromise the structural integrity of the genus, and the whole thing would likely collapse. And so it came to pass.

In 2008, Lexovisaurus was tried by Suzie Maidment and colleagues and found wanting as its Tanholt remains were dubious and not worthy of accepting remains from elsewhere. The Fletton and French fossils became Loricatosaurus, and it inherited the epithet priscus from Nopcsa's Stegosaurus because that's the oldest valid name associated with its remains.

Based on its known fossils, Loricatosaurus was around six meters long and two tons heavy with flat, narrow plates on its back and rounded spines that run along the tail. Its remains include a large "spike" that Hoffstetter placed on the shoulder and Galton put on its hip. But Maidment suspects it's part of a typical stegosaurid tail tip arrangement known as a "Thagomizer".
(Ancient armoured lizard)Etymology
Loricatosaurus is derived from the Latin "Loricatus" (armoured) and the Greek "sauros" (lizard). The species epithet, priscus, means "ancient" in Latin.
Discovery
The first remains of Loricatosaurus were discovered at the Fletton brick pit in the Oxford Clay Formation, Fletton, Peterborough, England, by Alfred Leeds in November of 1901.
The holotype (BMNH R3167) is a partial skeleton, including two neck (cervical), six back (dorsal), and 16 tail (caudal) vertebrae, a right upper arm bone (humerus) and right lower arm bone (ulna), some wrist bones (carpus), two hand bones (metacarpals, one incomplete), a partial hip (partial ilia, partial right ischium and pubis), the left thigh (femur), partial shin (tibia) and partial calf (fibula), fused ankle bones (tarsals), and some armour plates. A referred specimen (MHBR 001), from an unnamed unit (lower Callovian:Middle Jurassic) of Le Fresne d’Argences, Calvados, Normandy, France, includes neck, back and tail vertebrae, a left upper arm, right thigh, shin and calf, and some armour plates.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Middle Jurassic
Stage: Callovian
Age range: 164-161 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 6 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 2 tons
Diet: Herbivore
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Ornithischia
Thyreophora
Stegosauria
Stegosauridae
Loricatosaurus
priscus
References
• Nopcsa F. (1911) "Notes on British Dinosaurs. Part IV: Stegosaurus priscus sp. nov.".
• Hoffstetter, R. (1957) "Quelques observations sur les Stégosaurinés".
• J.W. Hulke (1887) "Note on some dinosaurian remains in the collection of A. Leeds, Esq, of Eyebury, Northamptonshire". Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, 43, January 1887, pp 695-702.
• Moody RTJ, Buffetaut E, Naish D and Martill DM (2010) "Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Saurians: A Historical Perspective". Geological Society, Special Publication 343, Pages 59-62.
• Maidment SCR, DB Norman, PM Barrett and P Upchurch (2008) "Systematics and phylogeny of Stegosauria (Dinosauria: Ornithischia)". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 6(4):1815-1821.
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "LORICATOSAURUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 29th Apr 2017.
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