Tuesday, June 23, 2015

New Jersey's Diplotomodon!

Image from Jurassic Park Institute.
In 1865, paleontologist Joseph Leidy described an isolated tooth found in Gloucester County, New Jersey. He believed it to be a marine reptile at first and named the beast Tomodon. As fate would have it, Joseph Leidy later changed the name to Diplotomodon in 1868 because the original name had been taken for another animal. Ironically enough, a dinosaur by the name of Dryptosaurus would suffer this same name ordeal years later.  Diplotomodon means "double cutting tooth." It lived during the same time as Dryptosaurus.  

In 1870, paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope described the tooth and believed it to be from a carnivorous dinosaur.  This idea is pretty much shared today.  Today, the tooth is mostly regarded as a nomen dubium or simply put, an unknown.  The sad part of this story is that although the tooth was described and photographed, it was lost. Hopefully in the future more will be discovered, but only time will tell.

Works Cited:

Gallagher, William B. When Dinosaurs Roamed New Jersey. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 1997. 104, 110. Print.

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