Sauropod skull mystery

by Lucas Joel
Monday, September 21, 2015

It is rare for sauropod skeletons to be found with the skull also preserved; it was only recently that the first complete North American Cretaceous-aged sauropod skull was described. The skull Douglass discovered, while associated with the Apatosaurus skeletons, was thought at the time to belong to Diplodocus. Douglass realized, though, that no skull identified as belonging to Diplodocus had ever actually been found associated with a Diplodocus skeleton — an observation that moved Holland to proclaim that the skull found in the Carnegie Quarry belonged to Apatosaurus. The skull, however, was not immediately installed on the Apatosaurus on display at the Carnegie Museum. First, the skeleton was affixed with a Camarasaurus skull, and it was not until 1979, after an in-depth study by paleontologists, that the skeleton was fitted with the proper skull.

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