Saturday, 28 December 2013

Cetiosaurus oxoniensis

Cetiosaurus (meaning “whale lizard”) was a large sauropod dinosaur from the mid to late Jurassic Period. It had a long neck with a small head and an extremely long tail, it was walking on all fours probably shaking the earth with every step. It is estimated that an adult Cetiosaurus may have weighed up to around 25 tons. Like all sauropods, it was an herbivore. This dinosaur would most likely have lived together in herds, footprints of sauropod dinosaurs herding together have been found on coastlines across the world, even possibly at Saltwick Bay, Whitby [Scroll down, alas no image as yet].

Did you know?

Cetiosaurus was the very first sauropod to be discovered, and is the best known sauropod dinosaur from England.

Cetiosaurus was first discovered in 1841 on the Isle of Wight and named by Sir Richard Owen. He first thought the bones must belong to some sort of large marine reptile, thus the name. Several more specimens of Cetiosaurus were discovered in the late 1840s and an almost complete specimen was discovered in 1868. Thomas Huxley eventually recognized Cetiosaurus as a dinosaur after the magnificent find in 1869. Several isolated bones from a dinosaur were discovered in the late 18th century on the North East coast at Whitby which possibly belong to Cetiosaurus. Four separate species are known from Cetiosaurus including the most famous Cetiosaurus oxoniensis, which was discovered at Rutland in Oxfordshire. This specimen was from the Bajocian stage of the Jurassic Period.

Cetiosaurus oxoniensis
Phillips, 1871
Meaning of generic name
Whale lizard
Meaning of specific name
from Oxford
Length: 18 m
Vertebrae, ribs and limb fragments
Age and Distribution
(Bajocian), Isle of Wight, UK
Dinosauria Saurischia Sauropoda Cetiosauridae
Further Reading
Upchurch P & Martin J (2003). "The Anatomy and Taxonomy of Cetiosaurus (Saurischia, Sauropoda) from the Middle Jurassic of England". Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology 23 (1): 208–231.
Image by Nobu Tamura (click to enlarge)
Cetiosaurus oxoniensis, May 4, 2009:

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