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Temporal range:
Upper Cretaceous, 67 - 65 mya
Backbone of Manospondylus gigas
Scientific classification

Cope, 1892
Binomial name
Manospondylus gigas
Cope, 1892
  • Tyrannosaurus gigas Osborn, 1905

Manospondylus (meaning "porous vertebra") was a large predatory dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous, 67 to 65.5 million years ago.[1] It was related to Tyrannosaurus and Dynamosaurus. Manospondylus fossils are known from the Hell Creek Formation in South Dakota.

Discovery and naming[change | change source]

The first named fossil specimen which can be attributed to Manospondylus consists of two partial vertebrae (one of which has been lost) found by Edward Drinker Cope in 1892. Cope believed that they belonged to an "agathaumid" (ceratopsid) dinosaur, and named them Manospondylus gigas, meaning "giant porous vertebra" in reference to the numerous openings for blood vessels he found in the bone.[2] The M. gigas remains were later identified as those of a theropod rather than a ceratopsid, and H.F. Osborn recognized the similarity between M. gigas and Tyrannosaurus as early as 1917. However, due to the fragmentary nature of the Manospondylus vertebrae, Osborn did not synonymize the two genera.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Hicks J.F. et al 2002. Magnetostratigraphy and geochronology of the Hell Creek and basal Fort Union Formations of southwestern North Dakota and a recalibration of the Cretaceous–Tertiary Boundary. in J.H. Hartman, K.R. Johnson & D.J. Nichols (eds) The Hell Creek Formation and the Cretaceous–Tertiary boundary in the northern Great Plains: an integrated continental record of the end of the Cretaceous. GSA Special Paper, 361: 35–55.
  2. Quinlan, Elizibeth D.; Derstler, Kraig; Miller, Mercedes M. (2007). "Anatomy and function of digit III of the Tyrannosaurus rex manus". Geological Society of America Annual Meeting — Abstracts with Programs: 77. 
  3. Osborn, H. F. (1917). "Skeletal adaptations of Ornitholestes, Struthiomimus, Tyrannosaurus". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History (New York City: American Museum of Natural History) 35 (43): 733–771.