Agathaumas

Name: Agathaumas ‭(‬Great wonder‭)‬.
Phonetic: Ag-ah-fow-muss.
Named By: Edward Drinker Cope‭ ‬-‭ ‬1872.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Ornithischia,‭ ‬Ceratopsidae,‭ ‬Chasmosaurinae,‭ ‬Triceratopsini.
Species: A.‭ ‬sylvestris‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: Roughly estimated at ten meters long,‭ ‬but this estimate is far from certain due to lack of overall remains.
Known locations: USA,‭ ‬Wyoming‭ ‬-‭ ‬Lance Formation.
Time period: Maastrichtian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial post cranial remains including dorsal‭ (‬back‭)‬,‭ ‬sacral and caudal‭ (‬tail‭) ‬vertebrae‭ (‬16‭ ‬in total‭)‬,‭ ‬partial pelvis and a few ribs.

       Agathaumas has been envisioned as a very large ceratopsian dinosaur,‭ ‬potentially as much as ten meters long,‭ ‬that lived in what is now the USA near the end of the Cretaceous period.‭ ‬However most palaeontologists agree that Agathaumas is a highly dubious genus of ceratopsian since it was based upon the description of partial hip bones.‭ ‬Other remains later attributed to the genus as additional species have now been moved over to either the ceratopsians Triceratops or Monoclonius‭ (‬the latter of which is also a dubious genus‭)‬,‭ ‬or over to the hadrosaur Thespesius‭ (‬itself another dubious genus‭)‬.‭ ‬As for the type material,‭ ‬the reason why it is so dubious is because the hip bones between different ceratopsian genera and species hardly vary at all.‭ ‬The only way we could be certain if Agathaumas is indeed a distinct genus is if additional material,‭ ‬ideally the skull could be found for the same individual that the hip bones came from.‭ ‬We would need to be certain however that it is the exact the same individual,‭ ‬as it is near impossible to attribute fossil remains from other sources due to the lack of distinctive features on the type specimens.‭ ‬Only then would we know if Agathaumas is a distinct genus in its own right,‭ ‬or if it actually represents something else.

Further reading
-‭ ‬On the existence of Dinosauria in the Transition Beds of Wyoming.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society,‭ ‬12:‭ ‬481-483.‭ ‬-‭ ‬E.‭ ‬D.‭ ‬Cope‭ ‬-‭ ‬1872.
-‭ ‬The monster of Mammoth Buttes.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Pennsylvania Monthly,‭ ‬4:‭ ‬521-534.‭ ‬-‭ ‬E.‭ ‬D.‭ ‬Cope -‭ ‬1873.



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