Paranthodon

Name: Paranthodon ‭(‬Near Anthodon‭)‬.
Phonetic: Pa-ran-foe-don.
Named By: Franz Nopcsa‭ ‬-‭ ‬1929.
Synonyms: Paleoscincus africanus,‭ ‬Paranthodon owenii.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Ornithischia,‭ ‬Thyreophora,‭ ‬Stegosauria,‭ ‬Huayangosauridae.
Species: P.‭ ‬oweni‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: Uncertain due to lack of remains,‭ ‬but comparison to other genera yields an estimate of about‭ ‬5‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: South Africa‭ ‬-‭ ‬Kirkwod Formation.
Time period: Berriasian-Valanginian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Maxilla and partial premaxilla and nasal bones.

       Paranthodon remains were first described when they were incorrectly included with the remains of a parieasaur named Anthodon.‭ ‬The inclusion of these remains also gave the incorrect identification for Anthodon as a dinosaur instead of a parieasaur until‭ ‬1912‭ ‬when Robert Broom separated an upper jaw from the genus.‭ ‬While Broom correctly identified the jaw as that of a dinosaur and not a parieasaur,‭ ‬he placed it within an existing‭ ‘‬wastebasket‭’ ‬genus of Palaeoscincus,‭ ‬as P.‭ ‬africanus.‭ ‬In‭ ‬1929‭ ‬Franz Nopcsa studied the specimen,‭ ‬and unaware that Robert Broom has already classified it as that of a dinosaur,‭ ‬created a new genus and type species,‭ ‬Paranthodon owenii.‭ ‬In‭ ‬1978,‭ ‬another palaeontologist named Walter Coombs altered owenii to oweni which is the correct grammar,‭ ‬and since this time this has been the standard named type species reference for this genus.‭ ‬It should be pointed out at this point that Paleoscincus is widely considered to be a dubious dinosaur genus because it was first named by a description of only the teeth.
       Although Franz Nopsca made the correct identification of Paranthodon as a stegosaur,‭ ‬many others instead interpreted the partial remains of this genus as those of an ankylosaur,‭ ‬another armoured but quite different type of dinosaur.‭ ‬It would not be until‭ ‬1981‭ ‬when another palaeontologists named Peter Galton actually demonstrated that Paranthodon was indeed a stegosaur and not an ankylosaur.
       As you may expect,‭ ‬Paranthodon would have been a quadrupedal low browsing dinosaur,‭ ‬that had plates and possibly spines running along its back.‭ ‬However since these have so far not been discovered,‭ ‬it is impossible to be certain to their arrangement.‭ ‬A‭ ‬2008‭ ‬report by Maidment et al places Paranthodon as closely related to Loricatosaurus,‭ ‬Tuojiangosaurus and Stegosaurus.

Further reading
-‭ ‬Observations on some specimens of South African fossil reptiles preserved in the British Museum,‭ ‬Robert Broom‭ ‬-‭ ‬1912.
-‭ ‬Dinosaurierreste aus Siebenburgen V.‭ ‬Geologica Hungarica.‭ ‬Series Palaeontologica,‭ ‬Franz Nopcsa‭ ‬-‭ ‬1929.
-‭ ‬The Families of the Ornithischian Dinosaur Order Ankylosauria,‭ ‬W.‭ ‬P.‭ ‬Coombs Jr‭ ‬-‭ ‬1978.
-‭ ‬Systematics and phylogeny of Stegosauria‭ (‬Dinosauria:‭ ‬Ornithischia‭)‬,‭ ‬Susannah C.‭ ‬R.‭ ‬Maidment,‭ ‬David B.‭ ‬Norman,‭ ‬Paul M.‭ ‬Barret‭ & ‬Paul Upchurch‭ ‬-‭ ‬2008.



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