About Abydosaurus mcintoshi:
Abydosaurus was recently discovered in the Cedar Mountain Formation. A plant-eating sauropod (long-necked dinosaur) with narrow teeth, Abydosaurus lived during the Cretaceous, which makes making it the most recent Dinosaur National Monument superstar in terms of geologic time.
Abydosaurusrefers to the town of Abydos, the Greek name for what is now El Araba el Madfuna. Just as the goddess Osiris overlooked the Nile River there, Abydosaurus was found overlooking the Green River at Dinosaur. Paleontologist Jack McIntosh is honored by the species name.
Why is Abydosaurus mcintoshia superstar?
So far, four individual Abydosaurusspecimens have been found, two of which have complete skulls. These skulls are the first complete sauropod skulls from the Cretaceous (last 80 million years in the Age of Dinosaurs) in the Western hemisphere. Skulls are often destroyed due to the fragile nature of the bones. If the skull is not destroyed, it is usually flattened by sediments piling on top of it. It is incredibly rare to find skulls in such good condition, especially as part of the first individual found.
Cretaceous Fact:The neck bones found with the skull were heavily eroded. Fortunately, the skull had rotated on its side before burial and so was not damaged.
For more information: Read the scientific paper describing Abydosaurus. No Abydosaurus specimen or cast is currently on display.
Did You Know?
Dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago, but lizards are still a common sight at Dinosaur National Monument. The small, inquisitive reptiles have endured on Earth for more than 300 million years, far outlasting their giant cousins.