Late Jurassic (150 Million Years Ago) - Skull Creek, Colorado
Specimen size approximately 6" x 5", with custom metal stand height at 10.5"
Camarasaurus was a genus of quadrupedal, herbivorous dinosaurs. It was the most common of the giant sauropods to be found in North America. Its fossil remains have been found in the Morrison Formation, dating to the Late Jurassic epoch between 155 and 145 million years ago. Camarasaurus weighed approximately 44,000 lbs and grew to lengths of 25 to 65 feet.
Camarasaurus used rows of close-set teeth to strip the leaves from trees and shrubs. Food was ground by stones in the stomach.
Serving the purpose of weight-saving, as seen in other sauropods, many of the vertebrae were hollowed out, or "pneumatic"; that is, the vertebrae were riddled with passages and cavities for an intricate system of air sacs connected to the lungs. This feature was little understood at the time Camarasaurus was discovered, but its structure was the inspiration for the creature's name, meaning "chambered lizard". The neck and counterbalancing tail were shorter than usual for a sauropod of this size. Camarasaurus, like certain other sauropods, had an enlargement of the spinal cord near the hips.
The first record of Camarasaurus comes from 1877, when a few scattered vertebrae were located in Colorado, by Oramel W. Lucas. Pursuing his long-running and acrimonious competition (known as the Bone Wars) with Othniel Charles Marsh, the paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope paid for the bones, and moving quickly, named them in the same year. For his part, Marsh later named some of his sauropod findings Morosaurus grandis, but most paleontologists today consider them to be a species of Camarasaurus. Such naming conflicts were common between the two rival dinosaur hunters.
A complete skeleton of Camarasaurus was not described, by Charles W. Gilmore, until 1925. Because it was the skeleton from a young Camarasaurus, though, many illustrations from the time show the dinosaur to be much smaller than it is now known to be.
Learn more at Wikipedia