Monday, 2 December 2013

Antarctopelta oliveroi

Antarctopelta is the second named dinosaur (the first being Cryolophosaurus) discovered from the continent of Antarctica (actually from the North James Ross Island). The fossil has been located in 1986 but it took many years to exhume it due to the frozen conditions of the site. It was a medium size ankylosaur with features pertaining to both the nodosaurids and the ankylosaurids.

Antarctopelta oliveroi
Salgado & Gasparini, 2006
Meaning of generic name
antarcto, in reference to the Antarctica, and pelte (Greek), “shield”.
Meaning of specific name
In honor of Eduardo Olivero, Argentine geologist and paleontologist, who discovered the holotype.
Length: 4 m [skull length not given]
Holotype (MLP 86-X-28-1): partial skeleton (fragment of left dentary with an in situ tooth, three isolated teeth, a collection of fragmentary cranial ossifications, two cervical vertebrae and a latex cast prepared from a natural mould of three articulated cervical vertebrae, about eight fragments of dorsal ribs, two dorsal centra representing part of the presacral rod, a partial sacrum composed of three sacral centra, eight incomplete caudal vertebrae, the proximal (glenoid) portion of the left scapula, a fragment of the right ilium, a distal fragment of a left femur, five metapodials, two phalanges, and a collection of six different morphotypes of osteoderms).
Age and Distribution
Horizon: Lower part of the Gamma Member of the Santa Marta Formation (Marambio Group), Upper Cretaceous (Upper Campanian)

Locality: Santa Marta Cove, North James Ross Island, Antarctica
Dinosauria Ornithischia Thyreophora Ankylosauria
Further Reading
L. Salgado and Z. Gasparini. 2006. Reappraisal of an ankylosaurian dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous of James Ross Island (Antarctica). Geodiversitas 28(1):119-135.

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