The following is from the Oct. 3, 2007, edition of The Dallas Morning News

SMU student digs up real ID
for Texas' official dinosaur

The Dallas Morning News

It's as if the bluebonnets Texans had been honoring as the state flower turned out to be black-eyed Susans. The Official Dinosaur of Texas turns out to be sauropod of a different color. Bones found on a ranch near Glen Rose during the 1990s were identified as the remains of the pleurocoelus, a plant-eating dinosaur that lived in what is now Central Texas about 110 million years ago.

Pleurocoelus – image courtesy of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.

Related Links
 • Scientific Paper on paluxysaurus
 • News Release
 • The Full Story

Celebrated for its Texas-scale size and power, the pleurocoelus (pronounced pluro-SEE-lus) quickly captured the public's imagination, and 10 years ago the state Legislature designated it the Official Dinosaur of Texas.

But a Southern Methodist University graduate student discovered recently that the bones were not those of a pleurocoelus at all but of a previously unknown species he named the paluxysaurus (pronounced pah-luxy-sah-rus). The bones were found near the Paluxy River.

Now the pleurocoelus may be stripped of its official designation and the honor reassigned to the paluxysaurus.

"I wasn't going in with any assumptions. I thought that what I was looking at was the pleurocoelus," said Peter Rose, 28, now a graduate geology student at the University of Minnesota.

"But in the process of describing the bones, I came to the conclusion that it had to be something really different."

Mr. Rose's conclusions were published in August in Palaeontologia Electronica, an online journal of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Although his findings upended what had been a scientific consensus, they have quickly and widely been accepted by mainstream scientists, said Louis Jacobs, professor of geological science at SMU.

Read the full story.

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