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Lametasaurus (lə-MAY-tə-SOR-us - meaning "Lameta lizard") named for the Lameta Formation, Jabalpur, India, is the generic name given to a possibly chimeric dinosaur species.

Lametasaurus


Temporal range: Late Cretaceous, 70 Ma

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Genus: †Lametasaurus

Matley, 1923

Type species
Lametasaurus indicus

Matley, 1923

History of discovery[]

Between October 1917 and 1919 Charles Alfred Matley excavated fossils near Jabalpur. In 1921 he reported the find in the "Carnosaur Bed" of what he considered to be two megalosaurians, theropod dinosaurs. In 1923/1924 he named one of these as the type species Lametasaurus indicus. The generic name refers to the Lameta Formation, dating from the Maastrichtian, the specific namerefers to India. However, Matley no longer identified it as a theropod but as a member of the Stegosauria instead, which concept at the time also included the armoured dinosaurs today assigned to the Ankylosauria; at first Matley had seen it as a stegosaurian in the modern sense and even intended to name it as a species of Omosaurus. The type specimenconsisted of a number of dermal scutes, a sacrum of at least five sacral vertebrae, a pelvis, a tibia and teeth. In 1933 Matley and Friedrich von Huene described some more remains collected by Barnum Brown, thought to have been part of a tail club; later this was shown to be a large osteoderm.

However, in 1935 Dhirendra Kishore Chakravarti contested the interpretation as an armoured dinosaur. He claimed that the specimen was a chimera including titanosauridarmor, crocodile teeth and theropod hindlimb material. In 1964 Alick Walker chose the scutes as the lectotype, thus removing the teeth and the bones from the type material.The name Lametasaurus now designated the scutes only and was generally considered to represent a member of the Nodosauridae. The pelvis and hindlimb bones have in 2003 been suggested to belong to Rajasaurus, based on shared features in the ilium. In 2008 Matthew Carrano e.a. discarded the possibility the scutes were ankylosaurian, stating they were probably titanosaurian, but noted that a comparison to the osteoderms of Ceratosauruswould help in determining its affinities. If in which case the species were to be found ceratosaurian, it would possibly be a senior synonym of Indosaurus and/or Rajasaurus.Most recently, it has been suggested that some of the osteoderms assigned to Lametasaurus show ankylosaurian synapomorphies, which renders Lametasaurus a chimera regardless of the affinities of the other material.

The type material has been lost, lacking a known inventory number, making it difficult to test the several hypotheses. The taxon is today commonly seen as a nomen dubium.

Gallery[]

Lametasaurus/Gallery

References[]

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