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Pleurocoelus (Fort Worth Museum of Natural History)


Pleurocoelus (Greek for "hollow sided"); pronounced PLOOR-oh-SEE-luss


Woodlands of North America

Historical Period:

Middle Cretaceous (110 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 50 feet long and 20 tons



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large size; similarity to Brachiosaurus


About Pleurocoelus:

Texans haven't been entirely happy with the designation, in 1997, of Pleurocoelus as the official state dinosaur. This relatively obscure sauropod may or may not have been the same beast as Astrodon (the state dinosaur of Maryland), and it's not nearly as popular as the herbivorous dinosaur it most closely resembles, Brachiosaurus. For this reason, the Texas state legislature has considered booting Pleurocoelus from the official rolls, though it's unclear what dinosaur (if any) would replace it--the front-runner is another Texan sauropod of dubious provenance, Paluxysaurus.

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