Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Texas State Dinosaur Facing Name Change: Case Of Mistaken Dino-identity

Date:
January 14, 2009
Source:
Southern Methodist University
Summary:
A Texas legislator is seeking a name change for the official state dinosaur, after master's level research at Southern Methodist University revealed the titleholder was misidentified. The Texas State Dinosaur, currently identified as Pleurocoelus, is actually Paluxysaurus jonesi - a new genus and species unique to Texas.

The official State Dinosaur of Texas is up for a new name, based on Southern Methodist University research that proved the titleholder has been misidentified.

State Rep. Charles Geren of Fort Worth filed a resolution Jan. 7 to change the name of the state dinosaur from Pleurocoelus to Paluxysaurus jonesi to correctly name the massive sauropod whose tracks and bones litter the central Texas Jones Ranch. Peter Rose is the scientist behind the name change: His master's level study of dinosaur bones at SMU eventually led him to dispute the long-accepted notion that the large, sauropod bones found in and around the Paluxy River near Glen Rose, Texas, were the same as Pleurocoelus bones first found in Maryland in the late 1800s.

Rose determined it was a different dinosaur altogether – a previously unrecognized genus and species he named Paluxysaurus jonesi, after W.W. Jones, the owner of the land on which the fossils were found. Once Rose's discovery was published in 2007, Pleurocelus' grand Texas title no longer fit.

Geren filed his resolution on behalf of constituents at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, which is a partner with SMU in ongoing research at the Glen Rose site, about 60 miles southwest of Fort Worth. Dr. Aaron Pan, Ph.D., the museum's curator of science, believes it's crucial to get the record corrected.

"I think it's going to be good for Texas paleontology and dinosaur research in general," Pan said. "Peter Rose's research has found that it is a new genus and a new species. This dinosaur is unique to Texas, and it is the most abundant dinosaur fossil found in the Glen Rose area."

SMU geological sciences professor Louis Jacobs, who was Rose's mentor, said that nobody before Rose had made an adequate study of the sauropod bones found at the Glen Rose site. Jacobs has described Texas as a kind of "free trade zone for the age of reptiles" since dinosaurs from three different geologic time periods have been found in three different geographic areas of the state. Paluxysaurus jonesi is believed to have lived 112 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period.

"It just goes to show that Texas is a great place to make great discoveries – even when you might think everything has been found," Jacobs said.

Rose, 29, received his master's degree in geological sciences from SMU in 2004. Currently pursuing a Ph.D. in paleontology at the University of Minnesota, he concedes he is excited about the proposal to change the state dinosaur's name to correspond with his research.

"But when you come down to it, whether it's a new species is not the big question. More important are some of the bigger picture ideas about how these organisms evolved and what they were doing when they were alive. I hope the future work I do has some broader implications. Currently I'm doing more climate research with implications, I hope, for global climate change."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Southern Methodist University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Southern Methodist University. "Texas State Dinosaur Facing Name Change: Case Of Mistaken Dino-identity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090113113953.htm>.
Southern Methodist University. (2009, January 14). Texas State Dinosaur Facing Name Change: Case Of Mistaken Dino-identity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090113113953.htm
Southern Methodist University. "Texas State Dinosaur Facing Name Change: Case Of Mistaken Dino-identity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090113113953.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Fossils & Ruins News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Turns Out Jack The Ripper's True Identity Is Still Unknown

Turns Out Jack The Ripper's True Identity Is Still Unknown

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) After testing DNA from a shawl found near one of Jack the Ripper's victims, a scientist said he'd identified the killer. New reports refute the claim. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fish Fossil Shows First-Ever Sex Was Done Side By Side

Fish Fossil Shows First-Ever Sex Was Done Side By Side

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) A 380-million-year-old fish may be the first creature to have copulative sex - and it was side by side with arms linked, like square dancers. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
As Sweden Hunts For Sub, "Cold War" Comparisons Flourish

As Sweden Hunts For Sub, "Cold War" Comparisons Flourish

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) With Sweden on the look-out for a suspected Russian sub, a lot of people are talking about the Cold War, but is it an apt comparison? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) Researchers believe an extinct kangaroo species weighed 500 pounds or more and couldn't hop. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins