Friday, January 22, 2016

Paleo File: Appalachiosaurus

Appalachiosaurus Reconstruction (Art and Copyright belongs to Todd Marshall)

     Appalachiosaurus, whose name means “Lizard of Appalachia”, is a theropod dinosaur from the east coast of North America during the Campanian stage of the Cretaceous period, approximately 77 Million years ago. It is not one of the most well known species because only a few remains have been found. 

Appalachiosaurus Skeleton, Note: the arms are incorrectly reconstructed here

        Originally uncovered in 1982 by Geologist, David King, in the Demopolis Chalk Formation of central Alabama the animal had yet to receive a name. However, in 2005 Paleontologists Thomas Carr, Thomas Williamson, and David Schwimmer coined the name, Appalachiosaurus montgomeriensis. The remains of Appalachiosaurus were found in Alabama, U.S. and was named Appalachiosaurus in lieu of the Appalachian mountains that are found in the state. Specifically the remains were uncovered in Montgomery County, which accounts for the species name. The remains found, belong to a juvenile animal with a length of 23 feet long and weight of over 1300 pounds. The material consists of parts of the skull, parts of the lower jaw, several vertebrae, parts of the pelvis, and most of both hindlimbs.

Juvenile Appalachiosaurus Reconstruction (Art and Copyright belongs to Fafnirx; On DeviantArt)

         The remains indicate that the animal was a primitive Tyrannosaur, whose family includes animals like Tyrannosaurus, Daspletosaurus, and Albertosaurus. However, the remains show characteristics usually found in more advanced tyrannosaurs placing Appalachiosaurus closer to Tyrannosauridae than other primitive tyrannosaurs like Alectrosaurus and Dryptosaurus. The arm material is not well known, only a few bones have been found. Originally, the skeleton of the animal was reconstructed with long arms ending in three fingered hands. This has since been revoked for the more widely accepted theory of shorter arms with two-fingered hands like that of later tyrannosaurs. Appalachiosaurus lived in an area that housed many other animals including; Lophorothon, Ornithomimus, Parasaurolophus, Hypsibema, and many more.

Relatives of Appalachiosaurus
Appalachiosaurus Scale (Art and Copyright belongs to PrehistoricWildlife)

Works Cited:

T.R. Holtz, Jr. (2004) "Tyrannosauroidea" in "The Dinosauria: Second Edition". /uk. 

T.D. Carr, T.E. Williamson & D.R. Schwimmer (2005) "A new genus and species of tyrannosauroid from the Late Cretaceous Demopolis Formation of Alabama".

"APPALACHIOSAURUS : From DinoChecker's Dinosaur Archive." Dinochecker RSS. Dinochecker, n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2016. <>.

"APPALACHIOSAURUS and The Dinosauria of Alabama." The Dinosauria of Alabama. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2016. <>.

"Appalachiosaurus." Appalachiosaurus. Prehisoricwildlife, n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2016. <>.

"Appalachiosaurus Montgomeriensis." - Triebold Paleontology. Triebold Paleontology, n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2016. <>.

"Appalachiosaurus." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2016. <>.

King, David T., Jr. "Appalachiosaurus Montgomeriensis." Encyclopedia of Alabama. Encyclopedia of Alabama, n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2016. <>.

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