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Stokesosaurus (Wikimedia Commons)


Stokesosaurus (Greek for "Stokes' lizard"); pronounced stokes-oh-SORE-us


Woodlands of North America

Historical Period:

Late Jurassic (150 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 13 feet long and 1,000 pounds



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Long legs and tail; short arms; narrow head

About Stokesosaurus:

Many carnivorous dinosaurs of the late Jurassic period looked confusingly alike, which means that new genera are on much firmer footing when they're based on reasonably complete fossil remains. That's not the case with Stokesosaurus, which was "diagnosed" in the early 1970's based on a hp bone, part of a skull, and a handful of vertebrae, a few of which may actually have belonged to other dinosaurs. Although some paleontologists surmise that Stokesosaurus might have been a very early tyrannosaur, most are content to classify this dinosaur as a plain-vanilla theropod similar to (and perhaps identical to) Tanycolagreus. (Recently, one species of Stokesosaurus was reassigned to its own genus, Juratyrant.)
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