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Allosaurus BW

There have been a number of potential species assigned to Allosaurus, a carnosaurian dinosaur, since its description in 1877 by Othniel Charles Marsh, but only a handful are still regarded as valid. Allosaurus was originally described from material from the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation of the western United States of America; the type species A. fragilis became one of the best-known species of dinosaur. The genus Allosaurus was part of the Marsh/Edward Drinker Cope "Bone Wars" of the late 1800s, and its taxonomy became increasingly confused due to the competition, with several genera and species named by Cope and Marsh now regarded as synonyms of Allosaurus or A. fragilis. Since the description of Allosaurus, scientists have proposed additional species from such far-flung locales as Portugal, Siberia, Switzerland, and Tanzania, Australia and unnamed remains from China have also been assigned to the genus at one time or another. It is unclear how many species of Allosaurus there were. Seven species have been considered potentially valid since 1988. There are also at least ten dubious or undescribed species that have been assigned to Allosaurus over the years, along with the species belonging to genera now sunk into Allosaurus. (Read more...)


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Paul Sereno2

Paul Sereno is an American paleontologist who is the discoverer of several new dinosaur species on several continents. He has conducted excavations at sites as varied as Inner Mongolia, Argentina, Morocco and Niger. He is a professor at the University of Chicago and a National Geographic "explorer-in-residence." Sereno's most widely publicized discovery is that of a nearly complete specimen of Sarcosuchus imperator (popularly known as SuperCroc) at Gadoufaoua in the Tenere desert of Niger. Other major discoveries include Eoraptor - the oldest known dinosaur fossil, Jobaria, the first good skull of Carcharodontosaurus iguidensis, Afrovenator, Suchomimus and the African pterosaur. (Read more...)

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"It is well known, that on the Ohio, and in many parts of America further north, tusks, grinders, and skeletons of unparalleled magnitude are found in great numbers, some lying on the surface of the earth, and some a little below it ... But to whatever animal we ascribe these remains, it is certain that such a one has existed in America, and that it has been the largest of all terrestrial beings."
—U.S. President Thomas Jefferson describing the bones at Haynes cave. Notes on the State of Virginia (1782), 71, 77.


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Diagram showing the appearances and relative sizes of 18 basal species of Ceratopsians (frilled, beaked dinosaurs typified by Triceratops). Animals are shown in order of geologic stage from left to right and top to bottom, with species names and stage information as annotation.

Ceratopsians were beaked herbivores who lived in what are now North America and Asia, during the Cretaceous Period. Early members such as Psittacosaurus were small and bipedal. Later members, including ceratopsids like Centrosaurus and Triceratops, became very large quadrupeds and developed elaborate facial horns and a neck frill.

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