STL Science Center

STL Science Center

23 May 2014

Jacks With A Dinosaur?

Before this week even begins I think it is massively entertaining to share a link to illustrator Dan Sorensen's website concerning this week's dinosaur: Jaxartosaurus. Be warned, that dinosaur has beefy man-arms and looks angry. Jaxartosaurus aralensis, however, is probably not a "mean" dinosaur at all; I think the public associates "meanness" in dinosaurs with carnivorous habits. Jaxartosaurus fossils have been recovered from China and Kazakhstan. The body plan of this dinosaur is reminiscent of the North American dinosaur Corythosaurus, including a large crest on its head. The single species (J. aralensis) is recognized as valid while a second species (J. fuyunensis) is considered a nomen dubium. The type specimen was described in 1937 by Anatoly Nikolaenvich Riabinin and appears to remain the definitive work done on this animal. Despite a lack of literature, Jaxartosaurus is a dinosaur that has somehow become fairly popular, appearing in a few cartoons including the popular PBS series Dinosaur Train. This week is going to involve a bit of digging on my part, as not much is posted regarding the anatomy or history of Jaxartosaurus. Some of the information this week, therefore, may be "lost" information!

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