Pachycephalosauria Maryanska & Osmolska 1974 "thick-headed lizards"
Pachycephalosaurus Brown & Schlaikjer 1943 "thick-headed lizard"
pak-i-SEF-a-lo-SAWR-us (Gr. pakhys "thick" + Gr. kephale "head" + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) referring to the greatly thickened skull bones, nearly 10 inches (25 cm.). Pachycephalosauria Pachycephalosauridae L. Cret. NA.
Pachyrhinosaurus Sternberg 1950 "thick-nose saurian"*
pak-i-RIEN-o-SAWR-us (Gr. pakhys "thick" + Gr. rhin- (rhis) "nose" + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named for the rough, thickened bones in place of the nasal horn typically found in large ceratopsians; some researchers think the boss may have supported a huge keratinous horn without a bony core, but direct fossil evidence for such a growth is lacking. Ceratopsia Ceratopidae Centrosaurinae L. Cret. NA.
Pachysauriscus Kuhn 1959 "thick lizard"
PAK-i-saw-RIS-kus (Pachysaurus + -iscus) (m) to replace preoccupied Pachysaurus von Huene. [= Plateosaurus]
Pachysaurus von Huene 1908 "thick lizard"
PAK-i-SAWR-us (Gr. pakhys "thick" + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named for its heavy build. (Preoccupied by Pachysaurus Fitzinger 1843. See Pachysauriscus) [= Plateosaurus]
Pachypodes 1845 von Meyer (later spelled "Pachypoda") "thick feet"
pa-KIP-o-deez (pa-KIP-o-da) (Gr. pakhys "thick" + Gr. pod- (pous) "foot" + -es) (m) or (+ -a) (n) Von Meyer proposed a classification in 1829 (published in 1830) that divided fossil reptiles into four major groups based on the construction of their feet. His second division was designated "Saurians with Limbs Similar to those of Heavy Land Mammals," erected to include Iguanodon and Megalosaurus. He later added Hylaeosaurus and Plateosaurus. He ignored Owen's term Dinosauria, and gave the division the official title Pachypodes in 1845, alluding to the pachyderm-like massiveness of the animals' foot bones. Contrary to accounts in some books, the name Pachypoda does not have priority over Dinosauria. [obsolete name]
Pachyspondylus Owen 1854 "thick vertebrae"
PAK-i-SPON-di-lus (Gr. pakhys "thick" + Gr. spondylos "vertebra") (m) named for some rather heavily built tail vertebrae Seeley later recognized as belonging to Massospondylus [= Massospondylus]
Palaeopteryx Jensen 1981 "ancient wing"
PAY-lee-OP-ter-iks (Gr. palaios "ancient" + Gr. pteryx "wing") (f) name proposed for a "tibiotarsus" belonging to a supposed bird. Jensen and Padian (1989) reidentified the specimen as the distal radius of an indeterminate maniraptoran theropod, and tried to declare the name invalid on the grounds that the taxon had not been properly diagnosed when proposed. Theropoda Maniraptora L. Jur. NA. [nomen dubium] [dino-bird]
Palaeoscincus Leidy 1856 "ancient skink"
PAY-lee-o-SKING-kus (Gr. palaios "ancient" + Gr. skigkos "skink") (m) named for teeth first thought to belong to "a true and gigantic representative of the family of Iguanians," herbivorous lizards. The type specimen (isolated teeth) is no longer considered diagnostic. The name was once used for armored dinosaurs now identified as Edmontonia and Panoplosaurus. Ankylosauria Nodosauridae L. Cret. NA. [nomen dubium]
Panoplosaurus Lambe 1919 "full-armored lizard"
PAN-o-plo-SAWR-us (Gr. panoplos "completely armored" + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) referring to its covering of bony armor. Ankylosauria Nodosauridae L. Cret. NA
Paralititan J.B. Smith, Lamanna, Lacovara, Dodson, J.R. Smith, Poole, Giegenback & Attia 2001 "tidal giant"
pa-RAL-i-TIE-tuhn* (Gr. paralos "near the sea" + Gr. titan "giant")* (m) named to indicate a giant titanosaur found in fossil mangrove deposits that suggest it inhabited a tidal environment. Paralititan is known from parts of a skeleton (Holotype: CGM 81119 (Egyptian Geological Museum, Cairo) including caudal vertebrae, dorsal and sacral ribs, incomplete scapulae, complete right humerus, and distal metacarpal, found in the Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian) Bahariya Formation in the Bahariya Oasis near Gebel Fagga, Egypt. The humerus is 1.69 m (5.6 ft.) long. Paralititan represents one of the heaviest dinosaurs known (est. up to 70 (64 metric) tons, and 25-30.5 m (80-100 ft) long), only somewhat smaller than Argentinosaurus.
Type Species: Paralititan stromeri [STROH-mer-ie] J.B. Smith, Lamanna, Lacovara, Dodson, J.R. Smith, Poole, Giegenback & Attia 2001: in honor of Ernst Stromer von Reichenbach [1870-1952], German paleontologist who discovered dinosaur skeletons at the Bahariya Oasis in Egypt in the early 20th century. Sauropoda Titanosauria Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian) Africa [added 8-2001]
Paranthodon Nopsca 1929 "near flower tooth"
par-AN-tho-don (Gr. para "near" + Anthodon (Gr. anthos "flower" + Gr. odon "tooth")) (m) named for specimens with "flower-shaped teeth" that Owen classified as dinosaurs under the genus Anthodon. The original referred material came from both Upper Permian and Late Cretaceous deposits, however, and included fossils of a pareiasaur (now Anthodon) and a stegosaur. Broom reclassified the stegosaur mandible as a species of Palaeoscincus in 1912. Nopsca renamed the jaw Paranthodon. Stegosauria Stegosauridae E. Cret. SAfr.
Pararhabdodon Casanovas-Cladellas, Santafe-Llopis & Isidro-Llorens 1993 "near-Rhabdodon"
PAR-a-RAB-do-don (Gr. para "near" + Rhabdodon "fluted tooth") (m) named for its proposed close affinities to the genus Rhabdodon. Ornithopoda Iguanodontia i.s. L. Cret. Eur. (Spain)
Parasaurolophus Parks 1922 "near-Saurolophus"
PAR-a-saw-ROL-o-fus (c.u.: PAR-a-SAWR-o-LOH-fus) (Gr. para "near" + Saurolophus) (m) Parks explains: "Its affinities are undoubtedly with Saurolophus from Edmonton; hence the proposed generic name...It can scarcely be doubted that [its] crest is analogous to that of Saurolophus..." The name is a misnomer since the solid-spike-crested Saurolophus and hollow-trumpet-crested Parasaurolophus are now considered only distantly related and are classified in separate groups ("flat-headed" hadrosaurs and "hollow-crested" lambeosaurs) that probably evolved independently from earlier iguanodonts. Parks used a now-obsolete classification that grouped all forms with crests (solid or hollow) in the subfamily "Saurolophinae." Ornithopoda Hadrosauridae Lambeosaurinae L. Cret. NA.
Parksosaurus Sternberg 1937 "Parks's lizard"
PAHRK-so-SAWR-us (Parks + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named to honor William Arthur Parks (1868--1939), noted Canadian paleontologist. Ornithopoda Hypsilophodontidae L. Cret. NA.
Paronychodon Cope 1876 "near claw tooth"
par-o-NIK-o-don (Gr. para "near" + Gr. onykh- (onyx) "claw" + Gr. odon "tooth") (m) named for the claw-like shape of the teeth; "one side of which is convex, and the other side plane so that the section..is semicircular..." Theropoda Coelurosauria Troodontidae L. Cret. NA. [nomen dubium]
Parrosaurus Gilmore 1945 "Parr's lizard"
PAHR-o-SAWR-us (A. E. Parr + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named to honor Albert Eide Parr, American zoologist and then-director of the American Museum of Natural History. (To replace preoccupied Neosaurus Gilmore & Stewart, originally identified as a sauropod) Ornithopoda Hadrosauridae Hadrosaurinae L. Cret. NA. [? Hadrosaurus]
Parvicursor Karhu & Rautian 1996 "small runner"
PAR-vi-KUHR-sor (Lat. parvus "small" + Lat. cursor "runner") (m) named to indicate a small cursorial maniraptoran dinosaur from Southern Mongolia, somewhat similar to Mononykus. Theropoda Maniraptora Parvicursoridae L. Cret. Mongolia
Patagonykus Novas 1996 "Patagonian claw"
pat-a-GON-i-kus (Patagonia, region of southern Argentina (from Spanish patagon "big-foot," a name given the local Indians) + (Mon)onykus "one claw") (m) named to indicate a Mononykus-like animal found in the Patagonia region of Argentina. Classified by the author as a basal bird in the family Alvarezsauridae along with Mononykus and Alvarezsaurus, Patagonykus is considered a small theropod dinosaur by some other researchers. (?) Alvarezsauridae L. Cret. SA. [dino-bird]
Patagosaurus Bonaparte 1979 "Patagonian lizard"
PAT-a-go-SAWR-us (Sp. patagon "big foot" [a name given the Indians in Argentina] + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named for Patagonia, the region of southern Argentina where the fossil was found. Sauropoda Cetiosauridae M. Jur. SA.
Patricosaurus Seeley 1887 "ancestral lizard"
PAT-ri-ko-SAWR-us (Gr. patrikos "paternal, ancestral" + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named to indicate a form first thought to be a lizard, supposedly "more nearly allied to existing lizards than are other Cretaceous" forms. Now described as a possible small theropod. Theropoda i.s. L. Cret. Eur. [nomen dubium]
Pawpawsaurus Lee 1996 "Paw Paw (Formation) lizard"
paw-paw-SAWR-us (Paw Paw + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named for the Paw Paw Formation (late Albian), Tarrant County, Texas, where the well preserved type specimen skull was found; notable for the presence of bony eyelids (the first found with a nodosaur), and for the more primitive construction of the palate and septum in the Texan genus when compared to geologically earlier (late Aptian), but anatomically more advanced, nodosaurs found in the Rocky Mountains region such as Sauropelta. Pawpawsaurus may be part of an endemic fauna isolated from the Rocky Mountains by the Western Interior Seaway that divided North America. Ankylosauria Nodosauridae E. Cret. NA
Pectinodon Carpenter 1982 "comb tooth"
pek-TIN-o-don (Lat. pectin- (pecten) "comb" + Gr. odon "tooth") (m) named for the comb-like denticles on the teeth. [= Troodon]
Peishansaurus Bohlin 1953 "North Mountain lizard"
BAY-SHAHN-SAWR-us (Chin. bei "north" + Chin. shan "mountain" + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named for Beishan [Pei-shan] "North Mountain" in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. ?Ankylosauria L. Cret. China [nomen dubium]
Pekinosaurus Hunt & Lucas 1994 "Pekin lizard"
PEE-kin-o-SAWR-us (Pekin + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named for Pekin, North Carolina, "which is near where the holotype was collected, and for the Pekin Formation, which is the stratigraphic unit that yielded the holotype" isolated teeth. Ornithischia[/Predentata] i.s. L. Trias. NA [nomen dubium]
Pelecanimimus Perez-Moreno, Sanz, Buscalloni, Moratalla, Ortega & Rasskin-Gutman 1994 "pelican mimic"
pel-e-KAN-i-MIEM-us (Lat. pelecanus [Gr. pelekan] "pelican" + Gr. mimos "mimic")* (m) so-named "because of the very long facial part of the skull and the integumentary impressions below the skull, which resemble the gular pouch in the pelican." The type species name polyodon (po-LIE-o-don) "many tooth" refers to the presence of 220 small teeth in the front of the upper and lower jaws, "the highest tooth count within the Theropoda." The specimen preserves traces of skin, apparently with evidence of a feather-like covering. Theropoda Ornithomimosauria E. Cret. Eur. (Spain)
Pellegrinisaurus Salgado 1996 "Lake Pellegrini lizard"
pel-e-GREEN-ee-SAWR-us ((Lago) Pellegrini + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named for Lago (Lake) Pellegrini, Rio Negro Province, northwestern Patagonia, Argentina, where the type material was found in the Allen Formation; for a specimen previously referred to Epachthosaurus, but now diagnosed as a new taxon based on the very wide posterior dorsal vertebrae, twice as wide as tall, and the distinctive shape of the neural spines on the some of the tail vertebrae. Sauropoda Titanosauridae L. Cret. SA.
Pelorosaurus Mantell 1850 "colossal saurian"*
pe-LOH-ro-SAWR-us (Gr. peloros "monstrous, gigantic" + Gr. sauros "lizard")* (m) named for the enormous size of its vertebrae and limb bones. Sauropoda Brachiosauridae E. Cret. Eur.
Pentaceratops Osborn 1923 "five-horned ceratopsian"*
PEN-ta-SER-a-tops (Gr. penta "five" + Gr. kerat- (keras) "horn" + Gr. ops "face") (m) Osborn explains: "A ceratopsian with one nasal horn in the median line, two horns above the orbits, also two lateral horns projecting downwards and backwards below the orbits. Hence the generic name Pentaceratops has been suggested by Doctor Matthew, signifying 'five-horned ceratopsian.'" Ceratopsia Ceratopidae Chasmosaurinae L. Cret. NA.
Phaedrolosaurus Dong 1973 "nimble dragon"*
FEE-drol-o-SAWR-us (?Gr. phaidros "shining, joyful" + ?Lat. suffix -olus "little" + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named to indicate "a lightly built, long-legged and small-sized theropod". The source for the spelling of the Latin name is not clear. The Chinese name minjielong comes from minjie meaning "agile, quick, nimble" and appears to provide the intended meaning of the generic name. Theropoda Dromaeosauridae E. Cret. China [nomen dubium]
Phyllodon Thulborn 1973 "leaf tooth"
FIL-o-don (Gr. phyllon "leaf" + Gr. odon "tooth") (m) named for the leaf-like shape of the teeth. Ornithopoda Hypsilophodontidae L. Jur. Eur. [nomen dubium]
Phuwiangosaurus Martin, Buffetaut & Suteethorn 1994 "Phu Wiang (Thailand) lizard"
POO-WYAHNG-o-SAWR-us (Phu Wiang + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named for the type locality, Phu Wiang Teema, Amphoe Phu Wiang, Khon Kaen Province, northeastern Thailand; type species P. sirindhornae honors Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Princess of Thailand, for her great interest in paleontological studies. Sauropoda i.s. E. Cret. SEA.
Phytodinosauria Bakker 1986 "plant (eating) dinosaurs"
FIE-to-DIEN-o-SAWR-ee-a (Gr. phyton "plant" + Dinosauria) A taxon proposed to include prosauropods, sauropods and ornithischians[/predentatans], forming a group of herbivores that branched away from the theropod line early in dinosaur evolution. [taxon]
Piatnitzkysaurus Bonaparte 1979 "Piatnitzky's lizard"
pyaht-NYIT-skee-SAWR-us (Piatnitzky + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named to honor Alejandro Mateievich Piatnitzky (1879-1959), Russian-born Argentine geologist, who discovered the Jurassic Cerro Condor fossil locality in Chubut Province, Argentina in 1936, a site not worked until 1977. Theropoda Carnosauria Allosauridae M. Jur. SA.
Pinacosaurus Gilmore 1933 "planked (head) lizard"
PIN-ak-o-SAWR-us (Gr. pinak- (pinax) "small board, plank, tablet" + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) referring to the small flat plates of armor covering the isolated type skull; now known from many specimens, including juveniles. Ankylosauria Ankylosauridae L. Cret. CAs.
Pisanosaurus Casamiquela 1967 "Pisano's lizard"
pee-SAHN-o-SAWR-us (Pisano + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named to honor Juan A. Pisano ( -1967), Argentine paleontologist at the faculty of Natural Sciences and the Museum of La Plata. Ornithopoda Pisanosauridae L. Trias. SA.
Piveteausaurus Taquet & Welles 1977 "Piveteau's lizard"
peev-toh-SAWR-us (J. Piveteau + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named to honor Jean Piveteau (1899--1991), noted French paleontologist; for "Eustreptospondylus" divesensis Walker. Theropoda Carnosauria i.s. M. Jur. Eur.
Planicoxa DiCroce & Carpenter 2001 "flat hipbone"
plan-i-KOHK-suh (Lat. planus "flat, level" + Lat. coxa "hipbone")* (f) named for the "flat appearance of the ilium, the defining characteristic." Planicoxa is a moderate-size (est. around 4-5 m (13-16 ft) long) iguanodontian ornithopod dinosaur known from a well-preserved left ilium (Holotype: DMNH 42504 (Denver Museum of Natural History), as well as other skeletal material including femora, tibiae, part of a humerus, an ulna, and vertebrae mainly belonging to immature individuals, found in the Early Cretaceous (? Barremian) Poison Strip Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation, eastern Utah. It differs from other known ornithopods in the shape of its ilium, which has a short, flattened horizontal postacetabular process that functions as an antitrochanter for attachment of the ilio-femoralis internus muscle of the upper leg. The cervical vertebrae lack neural spines. Planicoxa was likely similar to Iguanodon in general build.
Type Species: Planicoxa venenica [ve-NEE-ni-kuh] DiCroce & Carpenter 2001: [Lat. venenum + - ica "of, from"] "of poison"--"in reference to the Poison Strip Sandstone Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation, where the discovery was made" in Utah. Ornithopoda ?Iguanodontidae Early Cretaceous (?Barremian) NA [added 8-2001]
Plateosauravus von Huene 1932 "Plateosaurus ancestor"
PLAT-ee-o-SAWR-a-vus (Plateosaurus + Lat. avus "ancestor") (m) named for a similarity to the European Plateosaurus, but with different limb proportions; for forms originally described as Plateosaurus stormbergensis and cullingworthi, found in the Red Beds of Cape Province, South Africa. [= Euskelosaurus]
Plateosaurus von Meyer 1837 "broad lizard"
PLAT-ee-o-SAWR-us (Gr. plateos (platys) "broad, flat; large, strong" + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) probably named for the robust build of the hind limbs and the animal's large size, features repeatedly emphasized by von Meyer in describing the incomplete remains of a "Riesensaurus [gigantic saurian]" from the Triassic sandstones near Nuremburg, Germany. He did not explain the name. The type specimen consisted of a few vertebrae, a sacrum, a femur, a tibia (which he mistook for a humerus), fragments of the skull, and phalanges. The pelvis with the characteristic plate-like pubic apron was missing in the type specimen, as were the jaws, the teeth and the shoulder blades; thus there seems to be no obvious basis in von Meyer's descriptions for interpreting the name Plateosaurus as "flat lizard" or "oar lizard" (from Greek plate "oar blade") as commonly indicated. Prosauropoda Plateosauridae L. Trias. Eur.
Pleurocoelus Marsh 1888 "hollow-sided (vertebrae)"
PLOOR-o-SEEL-us (Gr. pleuron "rib, side" + Gr. koilos "hollow, concave")* (m) named for dorsal vertebrae that Marsh explains "have a very long, deep cavity in each side of the centrum, to which the proposed generic name refers." Sauropoda Brachiosauridae E. Cret. NA.
Pleuropeltus Seeley 1881 "rib-armor"
PLOOR-o-PEL-tus (Gr. pleuron "rib, side" + Gr. pelte "shield" + -us) (m) named for having "ribs to which dermal plates are ankylosed"; first thought to be a turtle, but now identified as an ankylosaur. [= ?Danubiosaurus]
Podokesaurus Talbot 1911 "swift-footed lizard"
po-DOH-kee-SAWR-us (Gr. podokes "swift of foot" + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named for its small size and light build; from "an epithet commonly used in speaking of Achilles" in Homer's Illiad; found with supposed gastroliths. Type specimen destroyed in a fire. Theropoda Ceratosauria Podokesauridae E. Jur. NA.
Poekilopleuron Eudes-Deslongchamps 1838 "varied ribs"
PEEK-i-lo-PLOOR-on (Gr. poikilos "varied" + Gr. pleuron "rib, side") (n) alluding to its three distinct kinds of ribs: slender, cylindrical dorsal (chest) ribs, some with uncinate processes as in crocodiles, and two sorts of abdominal or ventral ribs (gastralia), seven pairs behind the sternum with thin ends, followed by another seven pairs in which each rib is composed of two parts attached by ligaments. Long, thin S-shaped bones resembling ribs connected the posterior ventral ribs to the spinal column. Type specimen destroyed in WW II. Theropoda i.s. M. Jur. Eur.
Polacanthoides Nopsca 1928 "Polacanthus-like (dinosaur)"
POL-a-kan-THOI-deez (t.L.m.: pol-a-KAN-tho-IE-deez) (Polacanthus + -oides) (m) named for a resemblance to Polacanthus; type specimen is apparently a composite of Polacanthus and Hylaeosaurus material. Ankylosauria Nodosauridae E. Cret. Eur. [= Polacanthus]
Polacanthus Owen in Hulke 1881 "many spine"
pol-a-KAN-thus (Gr. polys "much, many" + Gr. akantha "spine, thorn" + -us) (m) originally described anonymously in 1865: "with reference to the extraordinary nature of the spine-like bones [which ran along the body and the tail]...Prof. Owen is of the opinion that the most appropriate name for this new Saurian would be Polacanthus." Ankylosauria Nodosauridae E. Cret. Eur. NA.
Polyodontosaurus Gilmore 1932 "many toothed lizard"
POL-ee-o-DON-to-SAWR-us (Gr. polys "much, many" + Gr. odont- (odous) "tooth" + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named for the many teeth in the jaw; first described as the "left dentary of a large extinct lizard" with thirty-five tooth sockets in the bone. [= Troodon]
Polyonax Cope 1874 "master over many"
pol-ee-OH-naks (Gr. polys "much, many" + -onax for Gr. anax "master, king, ruler") (m) probably alluding to its large size among the numerous vertebrate fossils found jumbled at a Colorado site; a juvenile Triceratops. [= Triceratops]
Predentata Marsh 1894 "predentary-boned (dinosaurs)"
pree-den-TAYT-a (or pree-den-TAHT-a) (Lat. pre- (prae) "before, in front" + Lat. dent- (dens) "tooth" + Lat. -atus "having" + -a) (n) A name "derived from the fact that all members of the group have a predentary bone, which is wanting in all other dinosaurs, and in fact in all other vertebrates, living or extinct." Proposed for Stegosauria, Ceratopsia and Ornithopoda; replaced by Seeley's Ornithischia. [taxon]
Prenocephale Maryanska & Osmolska 1974 "sloping head"
PREEN-o-SEF-a-lee (Gr. prenes "inclined, sloping" + Gr. kephale "head") (f) named "because of the anterior sloping profile of the head." Pachycephalosauria Pachycephalosauridae L. Cret. Mongolia
Priconodon Marsh 1888 "saw-cone tooth"
prie-KOHN-o-don (Gr. prion "saw" + Gr. konos "cone" + Gr. odon "tooth")* (m) named for teeth whose "serrated edges meet above at a sharp angle." Ankylosauria Nodosauridae E. Cret. NA. [nomen dubium]
Priodontognathus Seeley 1875 "saw-toothed jaw"
PRIE-o-don-TOG-na-thus (Gr. prion "saw" + Gr. odont- (odous) "tooth" + Gr. gnathos "jaw" + -us) (m) named for part of a jaw with serrated, scelidosaur-like teeth. Ankylosauria Nodosauridae E. Cret. Eur. [nomen dubium]
Probactrosaurus Rozhdestvensky 1966 "before Bactrosaurus"
proh-BAK-tro-SAWR-us (Gr. pro- "before" + Bactrosaurus) (m) "The name indicates the possibility that this genus may have been an ancestor of the later Bactrosaurus." Ornithopoda Iguanodontidae E. Cret. CAs.
Proceratops Lull 1906 "before horned face"
proh-SER-a-tops (Gr. pro- "before" + Gr. kerat- (keras) "horn" + Gr. ops "face") (m) unnecessary replacement name for Ceratops Marsh 1888; "indicating the forerunner of the great horned dinosaurs of the Laramie"; Ceratops Rafinesque is a nomen nudum, however, and is therefore not valid for purposes of homonymy. [= Ceratops]
Proceratosaurus von Huene 1926 "before Ceratosaurus"
proh-se-RAT-o-SAWR-us (Gr. pro- "before" + Ceratosaurus) (m) named to indicate a carnivorous dinosaur with a nasal horn; supposedly ancestral to Ceratosaurus. Theropoda i.s. E. Jur. Eur.
Procheneosaurus Matthew 1920 "before Cheneosaurus"
proh-kee-NEE-o-SAWR-us (Gr. pro- "before" + Cheneosaurus) (m) name proposed for a form resembling Cheneosaurus. A juvenile lambeosaur. [= ?Corythosaurus or ?Lambeosaurus]
Procompsognathus E. Fraas 1913 "before Compsognathus"
proh-komp-SOG-na-thus (Gr. pro- "before" + Compsognathus) (m) named to indicate the supposed earliest known member of the Compsognatha, a now rejected identification. In the original specimen, only the body belonged to a probable early theropod. The skull is now attributed to a sphenosuchian crocodile. Theropoda i.s. L. Trias. [nomen dubium]
Prodeinodon Osborn 1924 "before Deinodon"
proh-DIEN-o-don (Gr. pro- "before" + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) "referring to its greater geologic age than Deinodon Leidy of the Judith River, Upper Cretaceous". Theropoda i.s. L. Cret. CAs. [nomen dubium]
Prosaurolophus Brown 1916 "before Saurolophus"
PROH-saw-ROL-o-fus (c.u.: proh-SAWR-o-LOH-fus) (Gr. pro- "before" + Saurolophus) (m) named for its probable ancestral relationship to Saurolophus. Brown says: "from the development of the facial bones and the form of the incipient crest [it] appears to be directly ancestral to Saurolophus of the Edmonton formation." Ornithopoda Hadrosauridae Hadrosaurinae L. Cret. NA.
Prosauropoda von Huene 1920 "before sauropods"
proh-saw-ROP-o-da Named to indicate their ancestral status to the Sauropoda. [taxon]
Protarchaeopteryx Ji Q. & Ji S. 1997 "first ancient-wing"
PROH-tahr-kee-OP-ter-iks (Gr. protos "first" + Archaeopteryx (Gr. arkhaios "ancient" + Gr. pteryx "wing")) (f) named to indicate a turkey-sized (3 ft. long) birdlike feathered animal similar to Archaeopteryx, but flightless and more primitive, originally described as coming between Archaeopteryx and the "feathered" dinosaur Sinosauropteryx in evolutionary terms. The fossils came from the famous lake bed deposits in the Liaoning region of northeastern China, in the Jiulongsong Member of the Chaomidianzi Formation, Jehol Group. Ji Qiang, P. Currie, M. Norell and Ji Shu-An redescribed the type specimen (Nature; 6-25-98) and concluded that Protarchaeopteryx was a maniraptoran theropod with feathers rather than a secondarily flightless primitive bird. Protarchaeopteryx resembles Caudipteryx in many features: the skull is relatively short; the hindlimbs are proportionately quite long and robust, suggesting a flightless running animal; the metatarsals (ankle bones) are not fused and resemble those of other theropods rather than birds; large symmetrical feathers form a fan at the end of the tail and bristle or down-like feathers covered most of the body; plumaceous feathers are preserved along the femurs. However, Protarchaeopteryx has serrated teeth in both the upper and lower jaws, with large straight premaxillary teeth, and short bulbous maxillary and dentary teeth; the forelimbs and the manus are longer than in Caudipteryx and all other long-armed coelurosaurs, but large arm feathers (found on the forelimbs and manus of the Caudipteryx specimens) are not preserved, and possibly may not have been present. The tail is longer than in Caudipteryx but has fewer than 28 vertebrae. No gizzard with gastroliths was found, indicating Protarchaeopteryx may have had a meat-eating diet (Caudipteryx had small gizzard stones and may have been primarily a plant-eater.)
Although Protarchaeopteryx is now classified as a dinosaur intermediate between typical ground-living maniraptoran coelurosaurs and primitive birds, a few researchers (some supporting a non-dinosaur origin for birds) suggest it is instead a secondarily flightless animal descended from a primitive Archaeopteryx-like flying form. The date for the fossils is still in dispute, but is either very Late Jurassic or very Early Cretaceous. Type species: Protarchaeopteryx robusta [roh-BUST-a] "robust, strong" for its large hindlimbs. Theropoda Coelurosauria Maniraptora E. Cret. China [dino-bird]
Protiguanodon Osborn 1923 "first iguanodont"
proh-ti-GWAHN-o-don (Gr. protos "first" + Iguandon) (m) named for its alleged "peculiar iguanodont features"; wrongly described by Osborn as "a possible ancestor of the great iguanodonts" [= Psittacosaurus]
Protoavis Chatterjee 1986 "first bird"
PROH-to-AY-vis (Gr. protos "first" + Lat. avis "bird") (f) named to indicate its proposed status as a primitive ancestral bird, an identification disputed by many authorities. The occurrence of a bird in the Late Triassic would challenge the widely accepted theory that birds first appeared in the Late Jurassic. Although Chatterjee has described features of the vertebrae and skull as birdlike and provided a detailed reconstruction of the genus, the type material is fragmentary and no articulated specimens have been found to date. Most other researchers consider the currently available specimens too problematical to demonstrate that Protoavis was a bird, or even to establish that the fossils belong to a single kind of animal. It has been suggested instead that the material attributed to Protoavis comes from a number of Late Triassic reptiles, likely including one or more small theropod dinosaurs. John Ostrom (1991, 1996) has been a particularly sharp critic of Protoavis, and has found major shortcomings in the published descriptions. In the opinion of Luis Chiappe (1995), Protoavis "should not be considered relevant to avian evolution" until better specimens and articulated material are found, a position Ostrom endorses. Chatterjee (1995) has announced the discovery of additional well-preserved but disarticulated postcranial material that he attributes to Protoavis, but whether his on-going research will settle the controversy remains to be seen. Based on the published descriptions, the name Protoavis meets the basic requirements of nomenclature: it has a designated type specimen and a diagnosis that purports to define the taxon. The name is not preoccupied and so can be considered valid, although the taxonomic status of the genus is in dispute. Other researchers may consider the type material inadequate to define the genus for purposes of taxonomy and may question Chatterjee's interpretations of the fossils. Protoaviformes Protoavidae L. Trias. NA. [dino-bird]
Protoceratops Granger & Gregory 1923 "first horned face"
PROH-to-SER-a-tops (Gr. protos "first" + Gr. kerat- (keras) "horn" + Gr. ops "face") (m) so-named because it supposedly "stands far below the Upper Cretaceous ceratopsians and structurally it tends to bridge the long gap betweeen the latter and such primitive Jurassic Ornithopoda as Hypsilophodon." The genus is now known to be less primitive than Granger and Gregory thought, and to date from only slightly earlier than large North American ceratopsians. Ceratopsia Protoceratopidae L. Cret. CAs.
Protognathosaurus Olshevsky 1991 "first jaw lizard"
proh-tog-NAY-tho-SAWR-us (Gr. protos "first, forward" + Gr. gnathos "jaw" + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) replacement name for preoccupied Protognathus Zhang 1988. Sauropoda i.s. E. Jur. China
Protognathus Zhang 1988 "first jaw"
proh-TOG-nath-us (Gr. protos "first" + Gr. gnathos "jaw" + -us) (m) named for the apparent primitive nature of the dentary of an early sauropod, with about twenty teeth, a number similar to that found in prosauropods. (Preoccupied by Protognathus Basilewsky 1950). See Protognathosaurus) [= Protognathosaurus]
PROH-to-HAD-ros (Gr. protos "first" + Gr. hadros "bulky, sturdy") (m) named to indicate one of the earliest and most primitive hadrosaurs known, dated to the Mid-Cenomanian (early Late Cretaceous); based on a nearly complete skull (SMU 74582) with isolated postcranial material (neural arch, ungual phalanx, partial ribs) found in the Woodbine Formation in Denton County, Texas. The skull is notable for it deflected muzzle, with a long, downward curving premaxillary at the end of the upper jaw. The lower jaw is massive, tipped with a large predentary bone on the ventrally expanded forward end of a deep and robust dentary. The maxilla (upper jaw) has a tooth row with 36 dental alveoli while the dentary (lower jaw) contains only 28 separate tooth file positions, making the grinding surface less complex than in later hadrosaurs. Individual maxillary teeth are smaller than the dentary teeth. Its skull has hinged cheek bones as in other hadrosaurs but more limited sideways chewing movement (pleurokinesis) than in advanced forms. Protohadros was preserved in a river delta environment and the unusual downward deflected tip of its muzzle may have functioned like a scoop for gathering aquatic plants in swampy areas. The type skull is estimated at somewhat more than 70 cm. long and came from a young adult that may have been about 7 to 8 meters (24 to 27 feet) in length. Fully mature adults would have been somewhat larger.
Type species: Protohadros byrdi [BUHR-die] Head 1998: named in honor of Gary Byrd, member of the Dallas Paleontological Society, who discovered and helped excavate the type specimen in the township of Flower Mound, Texas. Ornithopoda Hadrosauridae Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian) NA. [entry added 1-99]
Protorosaurus Lambe 1914 "before Torosaurus"
proh-TOR-o-SAWR-us (Gr. pro- "before" + Torosaurus) (m) named to indicate a form Lambe thought was ancestral to the ceratopsian Torosaurus. (Preoccupied by Protorosaurus Meyer 1830. See Chasmosaurus.) [= Chasmosaurus]
Psittacosaurus Osborn 1923 "parrot-beaked saurian"*
SIT-a-ko-SAWR-us (c.u.: si-TAK-o-SAWR-us) (Gr. psittakos "parrot" + Gr. sauros "lizard") (m) named for the "powerful cutting and crushing rostrum or beak, for which the name Psittacosaurus, or parrot-beaked saurian, has been suggested by Dr. Gregory." Ceratopsia Psittacosauridae E. Cret. CAs.
Pteropelyx Cope 1889 "wing pelvis"
te-ROP-e-liks (Gr. pteron "wing, feather" + for Gr. pelyx "pelvis, basin") (m) alluding to the light construction of the pelvis. Cope says: "the pelvis and ischium are so slender as to be almost functionless." Ornithopoda Hadrosauridae Lambeosaurinae L. Cret. NA [nomen dubium]
Pterospondylus Jaekel 1913 "winged vertebrae"
TER-o-SPON-di-lus (Gr. pteron "wing" + Gr. spondylos "vertebra") (m) named for the broadened, wing-like form of the transverse processes on the vertebrae. Theropoda i.s. L. Trias. Eur. [nomen dubium]
Pyroraptor Allain & Taquet 2000 "fire thief"
PIE-ro-RAP-tor (Gr. pyros "fire" + Lat. raptor "thief") (m) "alluding to the fact that this new, agile small theropod has been discovered after a forestfire"; for a small dromaeosaurid found in the Provence region of southern France. Pyroraptor is known from a complete ungual phalanx of left second pedal digit (Holotype: MNHNBO001 (Museum d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris), plus additional phalanges, a metatarsal, an ulna and teeth (paratypes); referred materials includes additional pedal and manual phalangeal elements, right radius, caudal vertebra and dorsal vertebra. The shape of the 6.6 cm long slashing claw on the second toe of the foot is more like that of dromaeosaurids rather than troodontids. Based on the size of the various elements, Pyroraptor was probably about 1.6 m (5.5 ft) long (slightly smaller than Velociraptor). The French find evidently represents an independent evolution of Late Cretaceous dromaeosaurs after southern Europe became isolated from Eurasia and North America in the Late Cretaceous. Dromaeosaurs may have spread through North America and Asia into Europe and Africa during the Late Jurassic or Early Cretaceous.
Type Species: Pyroraptor olympius [oh-LIM-pee-us]: "an allusion to Mont Olympe ["Mount Olympus" in Provence] at the foot of which is situated the new locality" Theropoda Tetanurae Coelurosauria Maniraptora Dromaeosauridae Late Cretaceous (Campanian-Maastrichtian) Eur. [added 8/2000]