STL Science Center

STL Science Center

07 August 2013

Things I Like About Coelurus

Via the Daily Mail (Artist not credited)
From 1980 to the early 1990's Coelurus benefited from being studied again and, this time, by being recognized as itself. During this time different paleontologists looked at the different bones that had been recovered from the Como Bluff (in Wyoming) quarry known as Reed's Quarry 13. Many different skeletal aspects of many dinosaurs had been recovered from the quarry and upon inspection under the watchful eyes of the likes of John Ostrom it became apparent that many of the elements had come from the same individual but had been slightly scattered. That individual turned out to be a Coelurus adult and now is fairly complete, not entirely complete still however. The known skeleton consists of two arms from the Cleveland Lloyd Quarry (Utah) as well as pelvic and shoulder girdle elements, multiple vertebrae, a small section of mandible (probable remains), and members of both arms and legs housed at the Peabody Museum from Reed's Quarry 13. The mix up at Reed's Quarry 13 can possibly be explained by the nature of the area at the time of Coelurus' existence; a semiarid floodplain with wet and dry seasons is a good place for a dinosaur to expire in the dry season and then have its bones shuffled about in the next wet season. This phenomenon, or perhaps commonplace occurrence, is witnessed in other contemporary animals of the floodplains such as Allosaurus, Torvosaurus, Apatosaurus, and Diplodocus, to name a few.

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