Tuesday, November 19, 2013

[Paleontology • 2001] Aletopelta coombsi • an ankylosaurian ornithischian dinosaur from Southern California

Aletopelta and Lambeosaurus in prehistoric California
illustration by Ken Kirkland
Aletopelta coombsi Kirkland & Ford, 2001
an ankylosaurian ornithischian dinosaur from Southern California

 Generic name is composed of the Greek terms aletes and pelte, meaning, respectively "wandering" and "shield". This genus name was suggested by Ben Creisler because the fossil location, at the time the dinosaur died, being located on the tectonic plate containing the Peninsular Ranges Terrane, was somewhere opposite the middle of Mexico. This plate had thus been wandering northward, carrying the specimen with it. The specific epithet honors the vertebrate paleontologist Walter P. Coombs, Jr., for his ground-breaking work on ankylosaurs and his years of research, which have inspired many an enthusiast as well as professional paleontologist.

Ford, T. L. & Kirkland, J. I. 2001. Carlsbad Ankylosaur (Ornithischia, Ankylosauria): An Ankylosaurid and Not a Nodosaurid, Chapter 12 of Carpenter, ed., The Armored Dinosaurs, Indiana University Press, Bloomington & Indianapolis, Indiana 239-260.