STL Science Center

STL Science Center

16 November 2013

Blank Faced Ornithopods

©Karkemish (via Deviantart)
Today I have decided that we will only have on illustration. There is a reason to such madness. The fragmentary nature of the discovered cranium makes it difficult to illustrate or even describe what the post cranial skeleton looks like. Therefore, any recreation is little more than an approximation based on a generalized Ornithopod body plan. Some studies have gone as far as to determine that Atlascopcosaurus is a nomen dubium (none cited in the Paleobiology Database though this is where the original claim of nomen dubium originates) while others have claimed that the likelihood of a relationship between Atlascopcosaurus and Muttaburrasaurus requires a redefinition of the Iguanodontia including the designation of the family Muttaburrasauridae. Atlascopcosaurus is a much smaller animal than Muttaburrasaurus but the likelihood of a parallel evolution of body shape within the closely related Australian Ornithopods is more than likely what most illustrators and descriptors are basing their images on.

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