Named By: Friedrich von Huene - 1927.
Synonyms: Ornithopsis leedsi? Cetiosauriscus leedsi? Cetiosaurus leedsi?.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Saurischia, Sauropoda, Eusauropoda.
Species: C. stewarti (type).
Size: Estimated to be about 15 meters long.
Known locations: England.
Time period: Callovian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Partial post cranial skeletal remains including parts of the limbs, vertebrae and pelvis.
is often confused with the similarly named Cetiosaurus,
and this is
no accident. The name Cetiosauriscus means
a reference to Cetiosaurus which itself means
when Friedrich von Huene named the genus in 1927, he was actually
saying that Cetiosauriscus was similar to Cetiosaurus.
When the genus
was first named the type species of Cetiosauriscus
was C. leedsi,
however later studies cast doubt upon the validity of the type fossil
material used to designate this species. In what was a landmark study
for the Cetiosauriscus genus, A. J. Charig
named a new species of
Cetiosauriscus as C. stewarti,
based upon a partial post cranial
skeleton (BMNH R.3078) found near the town of Peterborough.
Noting that other species of Cetiosauriscus,
including the type
species were dubious on the grounds that the remains were fairly
indistinct, Charig successfully petitioned the ICZN (The body that
governs the naming of animals) to make Cetiosauriscus
genoholotype of Cetiosauriscus. What this means
is that from now on
all fossil material submitted to the Cetiosauriscus
genus must now be
compared to the fossils of C. stewarti and not C.
being added as new specimens.
Although the basis of the name Cetiosauriscus means a similarity to Cetiosaurus von Huene himself noted that Cetiosauriscus had much longer vertebrae than those attributed to Cetiosaurus. Because of the length of these vertebrae, Cetiosauriscus has been identified as a possible diplodocid sauropod dinosaur (similar to Diplodocus) upon more than one occasion. The type fossil material of C. stewarti (BMNH R.3078) has even been reported as possibly containing the whiplash of the tail that is commonly associated with diplodocid sauropods. If the interpretation of Cetiosauriscus as a diplodocid is correct, then Cetiosauriscus may well represent one of if not the earliest appearance of a sauropod dinosaur. However a 2007 paper (Naish & Martill) cast some doubt upon the diplodocid interpretation, stating that the vertebrae of Cetiosauriscus are also similar to those of the mamenchisaurid sauropods (similar to Mamenchisaurus).
- Sichtung der Grundlagen der jetzigen Kenntnis der Sauropoden [Sorting through the basis of the current knowledge of sauropods]. - Eclogae Geologica Helveticae 20:444-470 - Friedrich von Huene - 1927.
- A diplodocid sauropod from the Lower Cretaceous of England - A. J. Charig - In Aspects of Vertebrate History: Essays in Honor of Edwin Harris Colbert. Flagstaff. - L. L. Jacobs - Museum of Northern Arizona Press. - 1980.
- Case 2876. Cetiosauriscus von Huene, 1927 (Reptilia, Sauropodomorpha): designation of C. stewarti Charig, 1980 as the type species. - Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 50 (4): 282-283. - A. J. Charig - 1993.
- The anatomy and taxonomy of Cetiosaurus (Saurischia: Sauropoda) from the Middle Jurassic of England. - Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 23: 208–231. - P. Upchurch & J. Martin - 2003.
- Revision of Cetiosauriscus greppini–new results and perspectives. - Fifth Meeting of the European Association of Vertebrate Paleontologists Abstract Volume, Musée des Dinosaures, Espéraza, France. pp. 57–58. - Daniela Schwarz, Christian Meyer & Oliver Wings - 2007.
- Dinosaurs of Great Britain and the role of the Geological Society of London in their discovery: basal Dinosauria and Saurischia. - Journal of the Geological Society (London). 164: 493–510. - D. Naish & M. Martill - 2007.