About Camptosaurus aphanoecetes:
Camptosaurus is a two-legged plant eating dinosaur. The beak-like front of the skull did not have teeth but was used to nip vegetation. Camptosaurus may have lived in small groups. It depended on its speed to escape predators. Camptosaurus is the ancestor of later large herbivores, such as iguanodonts, and duck bills.
Why is Camptosaurus aphanoecetes a superstar?
Despite not having been found with a skull, the specimen from Dinosaur is the most complete Camptosaurus ever found. Like Camarasaurus it was on display for many years in the same block in which it was found. When the Carnegie remodeled their dinosaur exhibits, they decided to remove Camptosaurus from its stony prison to mount as a skeleton. Surprisingly, this specimen, which was identified as Camptosaurus medius for many years, was discovered to be an entirely new species in 2007.
A Camptosaurus embryo was also found at Dinosaur. Although these bones were found without eggshell fragments, it has been identified as an embryo. The bones themselves are more fibrous in surface texture than those of the adult. Certain parts of the backbone on this specimen have not yet fused together as they are in adults. The Camptosaurus would probably have spinal cord damage when walking around if these bones never fused. These features are present in dinosaur embryos studied all over the world.
Jurassic Fact: Camptosaurus has a thumb spike, which most likely was not used for defense because of its small size.
For more information: Visit the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, PA where a Camptosaurus aphanoecetes from Dinosaur National Monument is on display. This is the only mounted skeleton of this species.
Did You Know?
A population of peregrine falcons has been established at Dinosaur National Monument. The park's rugged canyons make ideal habitat for the once endangered raptor. Fossils show that dinosaurs evolved into birds--and so still live in modified form at Dinosaur.