2.15" Dinosaur (Thescelosaurus) Caudal Vertebra - Montana

This is a 2.15" long caudal vertebra centrum of a dinosaur (Thescelosaurus), collected from the Late Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation in Fallon County, Montana. It's in excellent condition with no repair or restoration. The neural canal is still intact and has been mostly cleared of rock.

Isolated vertebra from Thescelosaurus and Pachycephalosaurus can be difficult to distinguish between, however the pronounced horizontal ridge along the sides of the vertebra indicate this is very likely from Thescelosaurus.

Thescelosaurus was a small ornithopod dinosaur that appeared at the very end of the Late Cretaceous period in North America. Many specimens' preservation and completeness indicate that Thescelosaurus may have preferred to live near streams.

This bipedal ornithopod is known from several partial skeletons and skulls, all of which indicate adult lengths between 2.5 and 4.0 meters (8.2 to 13.1 feet) on average. It had sturdy hind limbs, small wide hands, and a head with an elongated pointed snout. Their teeth and jaw morphologies suggest a primarily herbivorous diet.

An artist's reconstruction of Thescelosaurus. Creative Commons License
An artist's reconstruction of Thescelosaurus. Creative Commons License

Because of its age and sedimentary composition, the Hell Creek Formation has become one of the most paleontologically studied areas in the world. 158 genera of animals and 64 genera of plants are known from the formation and new discoveries are made frequently. In addition to Tyrannosaurs, Ceratopsids, and Hadrosaurs, the formation has yielded remains of amphibians, reptiles, lizards, snakes and turtles, fish and sharks, avian and non-avian dinosaurs, and mammals. The Hell Creek Formation gives the most complete understanding of the environment just before the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction.
Thescelosaurus sp.
Fallon County, Montana
Hell Creek Formation
2.15 x 1.7 x 1.7"
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