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Re: dinosaur questions
My references say that the specimen (one bone) was badly damaged (but
nearly complete) when found, was the 9th or 10th dorsal vertebra, and that
it was lost during transference of Cope's collection to the Academy of
Natural Sciences of Phila. (ANSP). Cope estimated that the length of the
femur could have been more than 3.5 meters (~12 feet). I believe that the
bone was crumbling back then, which is why Cope named it so.
Osborn and Mook refered the _A. fragillimus_ to _A. altus_, which
McIntosh accepted in his review in 1990. They (Osborn & Mook) suggested
that it should be merged into _Diplodocus_. (Jack McIntosh thought it was
possibly within a 'subfamily' of Diplodocinae).
One note about Cope's fossils at ANSP: We found some that had been
hidden away in a cabinet for nearly 100 years. They still had the local
newspapers of the time wrapped around them. From the DVPS journal "The
Mosasaur", Volume IV, entilted:
"Rediscovery of Fossil Material at the Academy of Natural Sciences of
Philadelphia from Edward Drinker Cope?s 1893 Expedition to the Dakotas -
Edward Daeschler and Anthony R. Fiorillo".
It is always possible that parts of the bone may yet be found, perhaps
buried under some whale bones or something like that in the basement. :-)
From: T. Mike Keesey <email@example.com>
To: Allan Edels <Edels@email.msn.com>
Cc: Dinosaur Mailing List - Gen. Distribution <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Saturday, May 15, 1999 5:56 PM
Subject: Re: dinosaur questions
>On Sat, 15 May 1999, Allan Edels wrote:
>> I was about to answer, and suggest Mike's site, and Jeff Poling's
>> others) that could help you. Then Mike sent his message. I checked
>> Mike's list of records for the largest, and Mike says that
>> is the largest.
>> Yet, elsewhere, he says: "_Amphicoelias fragillimus_ was named for an
>> enormous vertebra which has since been lost (if it ever existed). Only a
>> drawing remains, which claims that the vertebra was 2.4 m tall, making
>> animal about 45 m long and possibly the biggest land animal ever, at 100
>> 150 metric tonnes."
>Yeah, I didn't include it on the Records Page since there is no material
>for it. But I just added it, with a question mark.
>> Greg Paul has estimated its length as 40-60 meters
>> long, which is 130-200 feet long. (DinoFest International Proceedings
>> (Publ. 1998)).
>Updated (on the Records page -- the _Amphicoelias_ page will update itself
>> He also indicated that a 'world record' individual of that
>> species could have weighed as much as 200 metric tonnes.
>I'd think it more likely that that *is* a 'world record' individual,
>possibly of _A. altus_...
>> To be specific, there was only one vertebrae ever found, by E. D.
>> which has since disappeared. (One would imagine that something that huge
>> would be noticed easily).
>This is probably faulty memory, but didn't it crumble or something? Hence
>the specific name "fragillimus"?
>> BTW, there are often several species per genera. (_Triceratops_ has
>All but two of which have been sunk -- even then, some feel there is only
>one. The non-avian dinosaur with the most valid species is probably
>_Psittacosaurus_, with about 8.
>> _Tyrannosaurus_ has one - or two depending on how you classify
>I list _Tyrannosaurus_ with 5 species, although 2 (_T. lancensis_ & _T.
>novojilovi_) could be juveniles of other species (_T. rex_ and _T.
>bataar_, respectively) or members of their own genera (_Nanotyrannus_ and
>_Maleevosaurus_, respectively), and _T. efremovi_ could be a _T. bataar_
>subadult (or is that _T. bataar_ that could be a _T. efremovi_ adult?)
>Arrr, what a mess...
>--T. Mike Keesey <email@example.com>
>THE DINOSAURICON <http://dinosaur.umbc.edu>