Antrodemus Leidy, 1870 [nomen dubium]
Antrodemus Leidy, 1870
(Proc. Acad. nat. Sci. Philad., 1870, 4.
NcZ) "cavity-bodied (vertebra)"
an-TROD-e-mus (Gr. antron "cave" (commonly used in anatomy in the
Latin form antrum to mean "a cavity or chamber, especially one in bone"
(American Heritage Dictionary, 1995 edition) + Gr. demas "body" + -us) (m)
Leidy proposed the name Antrodemus in 1870
(Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 22: 3-4))
based on a half of a centrum from a tail vertebra found in Colorado.
He originally attributed the bone to a new species of the European genus Poekilopleuron:
"One of the most remarkable characters of Poicilopleuron [sic] is the presence of
a large medullary cavity within the bodies of the vertebrae...
The same character is presented by the Colorado fossil." According to Leidy,
the Colorado partial vertebra indicated an animal "one-third greater" in size
than the European species Poekilopleuron bucklandii. He concluded:
"The species represented by the fossil may be called Poicilopleuron valens
[Latin for "strong," after its larger size]. Should the division of the medullary cavity
of the vertebral body into smaller recesses by trabeculae by significant of other characters
indicating the Colorado saurian to be distinct from Poicilopleuron,
it might be named Antrodemus." His repeated use of the terms "cavity" and "vertebral body"
throughout his description would have made the meaning of the name Antrodemus
obvious to his classically educated colleagues such as Edward Drinker Cope or Richard Owen.
Leidy correctly surmised that the animal was a dinosaur rather than a crocodile,
but with such meager type material, other authors paid little attention to Leidy's taxon.
Lucas (cited in Hay 1909) proposed that Antrodemus was the same as Marsh's
Labrosaurus, though the basis for this identification was not made clear. Gilmore (1920)
reexamined the type specimen and argued that Antrodemus was indistinguisable from
Allosaurus--thus Leidy's older name should be used as the valid name.
Various authors used either the name Antrodemus or Allosaurus into the 1960s.
However, Madsen (1976) reviewed Allosaurus, and concluded that Antrodemus
was based on undiagnostic material, rendering Leidy's generic name a nomen dubium.
All modern authors now recognize Allosaurus as the valid name.
(The name Antrodemus does NOT mean "cave demon" and is NOT the name of the devil
in Greek mythology, contrary to a few recent authors. Neither does the name mean
"strongly framed," as some books indicate. There is no basis in Greek or Latin,
or scientific usage, for any of these other interpretations.)
Theropoda Carnosauria Allosauridae L. Jur. NA [nomen dubium]
(?= Allosaurus Marsh, 1877)
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