40. The Carnegie Juvenile Camarasaurus, 1925

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The reason the Osborn/Mook memoir on Camarasaurus was described as "almost definitive" (see item 39) is that one year after its publication, a fully articulated and nearly complete skeleton of a juvenile Camarasaurus was recovered from the Carnegie quarry, which shortly after this find became the Dinosaur National Monument. This massive slab (actually four slabs, joined together after shipment from the quarry) was and is the most perfect sauropod skeleton ever discovered. In 1925 Gilmore described the specimen in this fully illustrated memoir. The photograph reproduced at upper left shows the specimen as it was when found.

The Museum decided to display the skeleton as a panel mount, and another photograph shows the fossil as displayed (see illustration at lower right). Comparing the two reveals that the skeleton was allowed to retain its original position, except that the tail was straightened out, a few displaced bones were re-articulated, and the missing left ilium was provided from another specimen. The flat bone found next to the tail is a sternal plate, which was placed beneath the neck in the final display.

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The articulation of the bones allowed Gilmore to conclude that Camarasaurus did not have its highest elevation at the shoulders, as Osborn, Mook, and Christman had reconstructed it, but rather stood highest at the hips, like Apatosaurus and Diplodocus.

The monograph contains a large folding plate with a corrected restoration of the skeleton. The photographs were taken by Arthur S. Coggeshall, and the line drawings and the full skeletal restoration were the work of Sydney Prentice.

 

Source

Gilmore, Charles W. "A nearly complete articulated skeleton of Camarasaurus, a saurischian dinosaur from the Dinosaur National Monument, Utah," in: Memoirs of the Carnegie Museum, vol. 10 (1925), pp. 347-384. This work was on display in the original exhibition as item 40.

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