STL Science Center

STL Science Center

24 August 2011

Discovering Albertosaurus

Albertosaurus, as noted yesterday, was a small note on the paper naming T. Rex. by Osborn in 1905. Albertosaurs was found, though, alongside a river, the Red Deer River, in Alberta Province Canada. According to excerpts from Wikipedia
The type specimen is a partial skull, collected in 1884 from an outcrop of the Horseshoe Canyon Formation alongside the Red Deer River, in present-day Alberta. This specimen and a smaller skull associated with some skeletal material were recovered by expeditions of the Geological Survey of Canada, led by the famous geologist Joseph B. Tyrrell. The two skulls were assigned to the preexisting species Laelaps incrassatus by Edward Drinker Cope in 1892, despite the fact that the name Laelaps was preoccupied by a genus of mite and had been changed to Dryptosaurus in 1877 by Othniel Charles Marsh. Cope refused to recognize the new name created by his archrival Marsh, so it fell to Lawrence Lambe to change Laelaps incrassatus to Dryptosaurus incrassatus when he described the remains in detail in 1904.
This is what led to Osborn also looking at the remains and creating a new generic and specific name for this animal. Unfortunately for Albertosaurus, it took nearly 30 years to be its own unique animal and for science to acknowledge it as such. All told, more than 30 specimens of Albertosaurus have been unearthed and studied. They represent many different age groups from juvenile to adult.

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