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Appalachiosaurus

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appalachiosaurus

Appalachiosaurus (McClane Science Center)

Name:

Appalachiosaurus (Greek for "Appalachia lizard"); pronounced ah-pah-LAY-chee-oh-SORE-us

Habitat:

Swamps of North America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (75 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 25 feet long and two tons

Diet:

Herbivorous dinosaurs

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Narrow snout with six crests; stunted arms

 

About Appalachiosaurus:

It's not often that dinosaurs are dug up in the southeastern U.S., so the discovery in 2005 of Appalachiosaurus was big news. The fossil, believed to be of a juvenile, measured about 23 feet long, and the dinosaur that left it probably weighed a bit less than a ton. Abstracting from other tyrannosaurs, paleontologists believe a full-grown Appalachiosaurus might have measured about 25 feet from head to tail and weighed two tons.

Weirdly, Appalachiosaurus shares a distinctive feature--a series of ridges on its snout--with an Asian tyrannosaur, Alioramus. However, experts believe Appalachiosaurus is most closely related to another North American predator, the even larger Albertosaurus. (By the way, the type specimen of Appalachiosaurus, as well as one of Albertosaurus, bears evidence of Deinosuchus bite marks--indicating that this Cretaceous crocodile occasionally tried to take down big dinosaurs, or at least scavenged their corpses.)

 

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