Thursday, 26 December 2013

Pantydraco caducus

Pantydraco lived during the Late (Upper) Triassic (Rhaetian) Period and perhaps Early Jurassic of what is now the United Kingdom. Pantydraco was a genus of basal sauropodomorph dinosaur and was originally believed to be a juvenile Thecodontosaurus and described from a partial skeleton including a skull in 2003. However, further analysis led to the conclusion and discovery that Pantydraco warranted its own separate genus after a paper was published in 2007. Together with Thecodontosaurus antiquus, it is the basalmost sauropodomorph known from Europe.

The diet of Pantydraco would have most likely been herbivorous but there is debate whether Pantydraco would have been an omnivore, it would have walked bipedally. Only one valid species of Pantydraco is recognised; caducus. The name Pantydraco comes from Pantyffynnon a small village in Southern Wales where the specimen was discovered in a quarry.

Pantydraco caducus
(Yates, 2003)
Meaning of generic name
Abbreviation of Pant-y-ffynnon Quarry plus Latin, draco, a fabulous lizard-like animal.
Meaning of specific name
Latin, caducus, fallen (the holotype specimen may have died by falling into a fissure).
Holotype (BMNH P24): nearly complete skull, vertebrae, humeri, partial right ischium.

Referred specimens: several partial skeletons and isolated bones (BMNH P24/3, a right ischium; BMNH P39/2, a left coracoid; BMNH P59/5, a right quadrate; BMNH P64/1, a series of eight proximal–mid caudals; BMNH P65/21, a right ectopterygoid; BMNH P77/1, a series of distal caudal vertebrae, the right ilium, femur, tibia, fibula and pes; BMNH P126/1, a ?proximal pubis; BMNH P141/1, a basioccipital.)
Age and Distribution
Horizon: Upper Triassic (Rhaetian) or Lower Jurassic. Locality: old Pant-yffynnon Quarry , near Bonvilston, South Glamorgan, South Wales, UK.
Dinosauria Saurischia Sauropodomorpha
Further Reading
A. M. Yates. 2003. A new species of the primitive dinosaur Thecodontosaurus (Saurischia: Sauropodomorpha) and its implications for the systematics of early dinosaurs. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 1(1):1-42.

P. M. Galton, A. M. Yates, and D. M. Kermack. 2007. Pantydraco n. gen. for Thecodontosaurus caducus Yates, 2003, a basal sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Upper Triassic or Lower Jurassic of South Wales, UK. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie Abhandlungen 243(1):119-125.
Thecodontosaurus caducus Yates, 2003
Image by Nobu Tamura (click to enlarge)
Pantydraco caducus, October 22, 2007:
Creationist suspicion:
What if Pantydraco and Thecodontosaurus antiquus are both just varieties of some other kind?/HGL

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