Friday, August 16, 2013

Agrosaurus (Thecodontosaurus)

        Hello everyone! Today's post is about Agrosaurus because I saw a figurine of a sauropod looking thing with the name Agrosaurus on the bottom. I had never heard of the dinosaur before, so I looked into it.

        The name Agrosaurus means "field lizard," unfortunately not, as I had assumed, something along the lines of "really angry lizard." It was believed to be a Triassic protosauropod discovered in Australia. It would have been the oldest fossil found in Australia. But while looking into this dinosaur I came across an interesting piece of information. I discovered that Agrosaurus does not exist.

(Maybe its name does mean "really angry lizard")
        Agrosaurus was tragically a mistake made by scientists transporting fossils from Australia.  Harry G. Seeley, (also the paleontologist who created today's system for classifying dinosaurs,) got the claws of a Thecodontosaurus from western Britain mixed up with a box of Australian fossils, and so declared it a new species. So in reality Agrosaurus is a Thecodontosaurus.  
        Thecodontosaurus' name means "socket-tooth lizard."  It was an herbivore from the Triassic that lived in the Bristol Channel area. This area, during the Triassic, was an enormous network of caves. Thecodontosaurus would spend its entire life in these caves, making it a subterranean dinosaur. Occasionally the ceilings would collapse, trapping organisms in rock to be fossilized.
        Thecodontosaurus was 1-3 meters long, only about .4 meters tall, and weighed 20-30 kilograms, so it was a fairly small animal. Thecodontosaurus fossils are quite common today. I even have a tooth belonging to one in my collection.
Isn't it shiny?
        Anyway that's it for today. Next post will be about Parasaurolophus just cause.

Lucas, Spencer G. Dinosaurs: The Textbook. Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education,
        2007. Print.

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