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Astrodon
Astrodon1DB
Name Astrodon
Order Saurischia
Suborder Sauropoda
Class Reptila
Name Translation Star Tooth
Period Early-Mid Cretaceous 112-99 Million Years Ago
Location North America
Diet Herbivore
Size 18 meters (60 feet) long, 9 meters (30 feet) tall, 30 tons

Astrodon (as-STROH-dahn), meaning "star-tooth", is a large sauropod dinosaur that lived in North America from the Early to Mid Crectaceous. It is the state dinosaur from Maryland, and is also one of the state dinosaurs from the United States.

Discovery[]

In 1859 by Christopher Johnston discovered some strange looking fossilized teeth in

Astrodon 1

Astrodon as it appears in the 2010 miniseries Prehistoric.

the Arundel Formation in Anne Arundel county in Maryland. It was quickly named Astrodon johnstoni, which means "Johnston's star-tooth", and was rightly named, since the teeth looked so star-like in shape. Since then, several more teeth and even fossilized bones, such as vertebrae, have been found of this medium-sized sauropod.

Paleobiology[]

Although Astrodon wasn't one of the largest of sauropods, it was still large even in dinosaur terms. It grew to be over 18 meters (60 feet) long, 9 meters (30 feet) tall, and over 30 tons in weight.

Astroden

Astrodon teeth.

Acrocanthosaurus-astrodon-po

Acrocanthosaurus attacking a pair of Astrodon.

It was a slightly smaller descendant of the more famous Brachiosaurus, and even retained some of its features. It had a very long neck that allowed it to reach high into the tops of the trees where no other herbivore could. It had four thick legs that may have allowed it to trot along at fairly high speeds when in need. It had a relatively short tail, like most brachiosaurs, but it was more muscled than most other sauropods, and would've been a potentially deadly weapon against predators.

Utahraptors attacking astrodon

A Utahraptor pack pouncing on a juvenile Astrodon.

Astrodon was by far the biggest animal in its environment, and used that to its advantage in getting food and protecting themselves against predators. It's torso was very high off the ground and is very well muscled, like its relatives. Astrodon lived in what is now North-East North America and likely lived in flat, forested areas. It lived alongside dinosaurs like Tenontosaurus and Sauropelta, and predators like Acrocanthosaurus and Deinonychus.

In the Media[]

  • Astrodon was featured in the Discovery Channel documentary, Prehistoric Washington DC, where it was shown to be the prey of Acrocanthosaurus.
  • Astrodon was mentioned in Martha Speaks.
  • It was also in Robert T. Bakker's book Raptor Red, where it's
    AstrodonB0709

    Astrodon model in the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore.

    attacked by a pack of Utahraptors. Astrodon has been named as the official state dinosaur of Maryland. A life-size model of Astrodon being attacked by Acrocanthosaurus is on display in the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore.

Gallery[]

Astrodon/Gallery

References[]

Websites:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrodon

http://palaeo-electronica.org/2007_2/00063/index.html

http://www.mgs.md.gov/esic/fs/fs12.html

Documentaries:

Prehistoric Washington DC

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