Agathaumas Cope, 1872 [nomen dubium]
Agathaumas Cope, 1872
(Proc. Amer. philos. Soc., 12, 483.
NcZ) "great wonder"
ag-a-THAW-mas (Gr. agan "much, very" +
Gr. thauma "wonder, prodigy, monster" + -as
[Gr. masculine noun suffix]) (m) alluding to its great size. Cope says: "the forests
[of the Cretaceous]...were inhabited by these huge monsters." The type specimen lacked a skull,
and does not appear to be diagnostic, although it seems probable that it is a skeleton
of Triceratops. Cope originally classified the form as a hadrosaur and did not recognize
the genus as a horned dinosaur until Marsh described Triceratops in 1889.
Cope later proposed that both Triceratops and Monoclonius were junior synonyms
of Agathaumas. Charles R. Knight's fanciful 1897 painting of Agathaumas,
done under Cope's guidance, combined Marsh's skeletal reconstruction of Triceratops prorsus
with a long straight nasal horn that Cope previously had identified as Monoclonius sphenocerus
(the spectacular horn may come from a Styracosaurus).
Knight also depicted the supposed "dermal armor" that Marsh mistakenly attributed to Triceratops,
material now identified as spikes from the skull of the pachycephalosaur Stygimoloch
and scutes from an unidentified ankylosaur.
(See additional comments at
Ceratopsia Ceratopidae. L. Cret. NA. [nomen dubium]
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