11 April 2012
Robert Gaston and Gastonia
Gaston Design, a dinosaur replica producing company, found Gastonia in the shifting earth of Utah. The replicas that they produce look to be very fine pieces of sculpture, basically, which is nice for collectors, though not for poor people like me for sure. Regardless, the Cedar Mountain formation yielded the original specimen at a time described as approximately 126 million years ago and the animal was named by James Kirkland after Robert Gaston. There has been more material collected on Gastonia than all other single species of ankylosaur dinosaurs thus far. In fact, there was so much disarticulated bone about the skeleton there was no assured count of the number of spikes that Gastonia should have on its upper body when it was found. The restorations done so far are pretty much educated guesses, but very good ones that are highly reliable, so they are probably spot on or extremely close as far as we can tell. Perhaps one day the fully articulated skeleton of a Gastonia will emerge and we can successfully answer that question, but not for the moment at least.