Camarasaurus Metatarsal (toe bone) | Sauropod Dinosaur | Morrison Formation, Colorado
Specimen size: approximately 8.5" x 2", (sits 11.5" high in metal base)
Metal base included
Camarasaurus (/ˌkæmərəˈsɔːrəs/ KAM-ər-ə-SAWR-əs) 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 of Colorado and Utah, dating to the Late Jurassic epoch (Kimmeridgian to Tithonian stages), between 155 and 145 million years ago.
Camarasaurus presented a distinctive cranial profile of a blunt snout and an arched skull that was remarkably square. It likely travelled in herds, or at least in family groups.
The name means "chambered lizard", referring to the hollow chambers in its vertebrae (Greek καμαρα (kamara) meaning "vaulted chamber", or anything with an arched cover, and σαυρος (sauros) meaning "lizard").
Camarasaurus is among the most common and frequently well-preserved sauropod dinosaurs uncovered. The maximum size of the most common species, C. lentus, was about 15 m (49 ft) in length. The largest species, C. supremus, reached a maximum length of 23 m (75 ft) and, a maximum estimated weight of 47 metric tons (51.8 tons).
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 until 1925 by Charles W. Gilmore. 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.