The official State Dinosaur of Texas is up for a new name, based on research that proved the titleholder has been misidentified.From the press release:
State Rep. Charles Geren of Fort Worth filed a resolution Jan. 7 to change the name of the state dinosaur from Pleurocoelus to Paluxysaurus jonesi to correctly name the massive sauropod whose tracks and bones litter the central Texas Jones Ranch. Peter Rose is the scientist behind the name change: His master's level study of dinosaur bones at SMU eventually led him to dispute the long-accepted notion that the large, sauropod bones found in and around the Paluxy River near Glen Rose, Texas, were the same as Pleurocoelus bones first found in Maryland in the late 1800s.
Rose determined it was a different dinosaur altogether – a previously unrecognized genus and species he named Paluxysaurus jonesi, after W.W. Jones, the owner of the land on which the fossils were found. Once Rose's discovery was published in 2007, Pleurocelus' grand Texas title no longer fit.
SMU geological sciences professor Louis Jacobs, who was Rose's mentor, said that nobody before Rose had made an adequate study of the sauropod bones found at the Glen Rose site. Jacobs has described Texas as a kind of "free trade zone for the age of reptiles" since dinosaurs from three different geologic time periods have been found in three different geographic areas of the state. Paluxysaurus jonesi is believed to have lived 112 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period. image