Restoration of Apatodon mirus as an allosaurid theropod
Holotype vertebra
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosauria
Genus: Apatodon
Marsh, 1877
Binomial name
Apatodon mirus
Marsh, 1877

Apatodon mirus is a dubious and possibly invalid genus of dinosaur known from a single, now lost, vertebra.

When Marsh named it, he thought it was a jaw with a tooth from a Mesozoic pig, but it was soon shown that the specimen was an eroded vertebra, from a dinosaur possibly from the Morrison Formation of Garden Park, Colorado.[1] Marsh had misidentified the neural spine as the tooth of a pig-like animal (Baur, 1890).[2]

The only recovered specimen is not regarded as sufficient to identify a particular species of dinosaur. However, George Olshevsky considered Apatodon to be synonymous with Allosaurus fragilis.[3] The issue is now beyond resolution; however, as the type bone fragment has been lost.[4]

The name was derived from Greek: απατη ("trick", "deceit") and οδους (genitive οδοντος) ("tooth", in reference to its original, incorrect identification).




  1. Marsh, 1877. Notice of some new vertebrate fossils. American Journal of Arts and Sciences. 14, 249-256.
  2. Baur, G. 1890. A review of the charges against the paleontological department of the U.S. Geological Survey and of the defense made by Prof. O.C. Marsh. American Naturalist 24:288-204.
  3. Olshevsky, 1991. A revision of the parainfraclass Archosauria Cope, 1869, excluding the advanced Crocodylia. Mesozoic Meanderings. 2, 196 pp.
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