Styracosaurus Name

Styracosaurus   >   Name


Styracosaurus Name

The first fossils of Styracosaurus were discovered in 1912 by Charles Mortram Sternberg in what has subsequently become known as the Dinosaur Park Formation, which is located in Alberta Canada.

Scientists classify living things, including animals, using a hierarchical system of names. The lowest two levels in this system are the Genus (which refers to a closely related group of animals), and the Species (animals so closely related that they can breed and produce fertile offspring). The Genus and Species are often used in combination to identify a particular animal (this is known as the "Scientific Name" or "Binomen") of the animal. This system of naming animals is known as "Binomial nomenclature".

Styracosaurus animal was named by Lawrence Morris Lambe in 1913.
  • For the Genus, Lambe chose "Styracosaurus", from the Ancient Greek words "styrax" (spike at the butt-end of a spear-shaft) and "sauros" (lizard) - hence Styracosaurus means "spiked lizard"

  • For the Species, he chose "albertensis" to reflect the animal's discovery in Alberta, Canada.
Barnum Brown and a team from the American Museum of Natural History found a second near complete skeleton of Styracosaurus in 1915. They considered this specimen to be from a different species of Styracosaurus, which they named Styracosaurus parksi in honor of the Canadian palentologist William Arthur Parks. Today however, this specimen is generally considered to be of the same species as Sternberg's find, namely Styracosaurus albertensis.

Barnum Brown:
Barnum Brown

A potentially valid second species of Styracosaurus was described by Charles W. Gilmore in 1930. Gilmore's specimen which came from the Two Medicine Formation in Montana, he called Styracosaurus ovatus (ovatus means "celebrated"). More recent research however places this specimen in a differently Genus entirely, which has been named "Rubeosaurus".

Charles W. Gilmore:
Charles W. Gilmore

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