STL Science Center

STL Science Center

21 November 2013

Exciting Times!

There is little to discuss in terms of the popular culture impact of our small basal Ornithopoda friend Atlascopcosaurus this week. As such, we will discuss the world in which this dinosaur lived. Atlascopcosaurus was discovered in Dinosaur Cove's Eastern area in 1984. 104 million years ago the Dinosaur Cove area was closely associated, geographically, with the landmass of Antarctica and well below the Antarctic Circle. Current research indicates that the areas within the southernmost area of the globe near the Antarctic Circle potentially occurred dark and light seasons. More famous denizens of this light and dark season land include Muttaburrasaurus (the taxon in which Atlascopcosaurus is sometimes considered a member due to its fragmentary nature), Leaellynasaura‎, and even a carnivore simply referred to most often as Dwarf Allosaurus. It is unfortunate that more of this little dinosaur has not been recovered (and also that it actually be a nomen dubium that belongs to another species). Regardless, the adaptations to light and dark seasons that could potentially be seen in this taxon would be wonderful. Should more ever be discovered it will tell us a lot about the dinosaur and it will definitively answer the question regarding the position of the dinosaur itself.

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