1877 in paleontology

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List of years in paleontology
  • 1874
  • 1875
  • 1876
  • 1877
  • 1878
  • 1879
  • 1880
  • In science
    1874
    1875
    1876
    1877
    1878
    1879
    1880

    Paleontology or palaeontology (from Greek: paleo, "ancient"; ontos, "being"; and logos, "knowledge") is the study of prehistoric life forms on Earth through the examination of plant and animal fossils.[1] This includes the study of body fossils, tracks (ichnites), burrows, cast-off parts, fossilised feces (coprolites), palynomorphs and chemical residues. Because humans have encountered fossils for millennia, paleontology has a long history both before and after becoming formalized as a science, this article records significant discoveries and events related to paleontology that occurred or were published in the year 1877.

    Arthropods[edit]

    Newly named insects[edit]

    Name Novelty Status Authors Age Unit Location Notes Images

    Aphaenogaster longaeva[2]

    Sp nov

    nomen dubium

    Scudder

    Oligocene?

    Fraser Formation?

     Canada

    Myrmicin ant species, placement uncertain

    Fish[edit]

    Name Novelty Status Authors Age Unit Location Notes Images

    Heliobatis[3]

    gen et sp nov.

    Valid

    Wasatchian

    Green River Formation

     USA

    One of two stingrays from the Green River Formation

    Non-dinosaurian reptiles[edit]

    Name Novelty Status Authors Age Unit Location Notes Images

    Dasygnathus

    Junior synonym

    Huxley

    Late Triassic

    Lossiemouth Sandstone Formation

     Scotland

    A misidentified ornithosuchid archosaur whose name was preoccupied by MacLeay, 1819, it was later renamed Dasygnathoides. Synonym of Ornithosuchus

    Palaeoctonus

    Nomen dubium

    Cope

    Late Triassic

     US

    Dubious genus of misidentified phytosaur.

    Suchoprion

    Nomen dubium

    Cope

     US

    Dubious genus of misidentified phytosaur.

    Dinosaurs[edit]

    Laelaps trihedrodon, Cope criticizes Dryptosaurus[edit]

    O. W. Lucas collected the first remains of what would later in the year be named Laelaps trihedrodon from Quarry I of the Saurian Hill at Garden Park, Colorado.[4] Edward Drinker Cope would describe the material later in the year in a short paper titled "On a carnivorous dinosaurian from the Dakota beds of Colorado."[5] The "Dakota beds" he references are actually Morrison Formation strata.[4] Cope claims to have a skeleton of unspecified completeness on which to establish the new species, but only describes a partial dentary which has 5 successional teeth, 2 functional teeth, and one tooth missing from its socket.[5] All of the preceding material has since been lost to science with the exception of 5 broken, partial tooth crowns,[6] from the now missing dentary, Cope infers that the creature is a carnivore and compares its dentition to that belonging to other members of his infamous genus "Laelaps", L. aquilunguis and L. incrassatus.[5] Cope concludes the paper with a pointed criticism of his rival O. C. Marsh's attempt to rename Laelaps as the genus Dryptosaurus because the generic name Laelaps has been used in entomology.[7] Cope claims that since the mite genus Laelaps was a synonym that the name was not truly preoccupied and Marsh's erection of Dryptosaurus has therefore created a new, redundant synonym of Laelaps the dinosaur.[7] However, subsequent researchers have supported Marsh's new name.

    Apatosaurus[edit]

    • Apatosaurus specimen found with preserved gastroliths.[8]

    New genera[edit]

    Name Status Authors Age Location Notes Images

    Allosaurus

    Valid

    Othniel Charles Marsh

    147 Millions of years ago

    An allosaurid theropod. Best known Late Jurassic large bodied theropod from North America.

    Amphicoelias

    Nomen dubium

    Edward Drinker Cope

    147 Millions of years ago

    A diplodocoid. Has discovered a vertebra of more than 2 meters in height, but with the passage of time was lost. So the only remaining fossils can even be counted with the fingers.

    Amphicoelias true size

    Apatodon

    Nomen dubium

    Othniel Charles Marsh

    Possible subjective synonym of Allosaurus.

    Apatosaurus

    Valid

    Othniel Charles Marsh

    147 Millions of years ago

    An apatosaurine diplodocid

    Atlantosaurus

    Nomen dubium

    Othniel Charles Marsh

    Possible subjective synonym of Apatosaurus.

    Camarasaurus

    Valid

    Edward Drinker Cope

    A camarasaurid.

    Caulodon

    Jr. synonym

    Edward Drinker Cope

    Junior subjective synonym of Camarasaurus.

    Dryptosaurus

    Valid

    Othniel Charles Marsh

    Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian)

    A tyrannosauroid.

    Dystrophaeus

    Valid

    Edward Drinker Cope

    Late Jurassic

    A eusauropod of unknown affinities

    Nanosaurus

    Valid

    Othniel Charles Marsh

    Late Jurassic

    An ornithischian

    Stegosaurus

    Valid

    Othniel Charles Marsh

    Late Jurassic

    A stegosaur. Known from the plates on its back and the Tail Spiked ("Thagomizer") on its tail.

    Tichosteus

    Nomen dubium

    Edward Drinker Cope

     US

    Affinities unknown

    Titanosaurus

    Nomen dubium

    Richard Lydekker

    Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian)

    A titanosaur

    Titanosaurus

    Preoccupied.

    Othniel Charles Marsh

    Preoccupied by a genus erected by Richard Lydekker this same year. Later renamed Atlantosaurus.

    Synapsids[edit]

    Non-mammalian[edit]

    Name Status Authors Age Location Notes Images

    Archaeobelus

    Synonym of Clepsydrops

    See also[edit]

    Footnotes[edit]

    1. ^ Gini-Newman, Garfield; Graham, Elizabeth (2001). Echoes from the past: world history to the 16th century. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd. ISBN 9780070887398. OCLC 46769716. 
    2. ^ Carpenter, F. M. (1930). "The fossil ants of North America" (PDF). Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology. 70: 1–66. 
    3. ^ Grande, Lance (1984), "Paleontology of the Green River Formation, with a review of the fish fauna", Bulletin of the Wyoming State Geological Survey, Laramie, WY, 63 2nd ed. 
    4. ^ a b "Introduction," Chure (2001) page 11.
    5. ^ a b c Cope (1887) pages 805-806.
    6. ^ "Description of 5780," Chure (2001) page 11.
    7. ^ a b Cope (1887) page 806.
    8. ^ Cannon (1907). Sanders, Manley, and Carpenter (2001), "Table 12.1" page 167.

    References[edit]

    • Cannon, G.L. (1907). Sauropodan gastroliths. Science 24, 116.
    • Chure, Daniel J. (2001). "On the type and referred material of Laelaps trihedrodon Cope 1877 (Dinosauria: Theropoda)". In Tanke, Darren; and Carpenter, Kenneth (eds.). Mesozoic Vertebrate Life. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. pp. 10–18. ISBN 0-253-33907-3. 
    • Cope, E.D. (1877). On a carnivorous dinosaurian from the Dakota beds of Colorado. Bull. U.S. Geol. Surv. Territories 3: 805-806.
    • Sanders F, Manley K, Carpenter K. Gastroliths from the Lower Cretaceous sauropod Cedarosaurus weiskopfae. In: Tanke D.H, Carpenter K, editors. Mesozoic vertebrate life: new research inspired by the paleontology of Philip J. Currie. Indiana University Press; Bloomington, IN: 2001. pp. 166–180.