Short Info


Phonetic : beck-el-spien-aks.

Named By : Paul -1988

Diet : Carnivore

Size : Estimated 5 meters long

Type of Dinosaur : Large Theropod

Type Species : altispinax‭ (‬type‭)

Found in : United Kingdom

When it Lived : Early Cretaceous, 142-132 million years ago

Becklespinax is one of the genus belonging to big predatory theropod dinosaurs dating that was discovered in early in the Early Cretaceous period (Valanginian, 140-133 million years ago) of what is today what is now the Wadhurst Clay Formation of East Sussex, England.

Most likely in the 1850s early The fossil collector Samuel Husbands Beckles discovered some fossilized dinosaur bone fragments in the quarry close to Battle, East Sussex. The bones were gave to the palaeontologist Richard Owen, who reported the findings in 1856. Owen also had a lithograph created by Joseph Dinkel of the main specimen, which consisted of three vertebrae back that had large spines. This image was also featured in the 1884 edition of the 1855 edition of his classic research regarding British fossil reptiles. This led to the misconception that the fossils were discovered in the year 1884. Owen was the one who identified these specimens as Megalosaurus bucklandii believed that the vertebrae belonged to the shoulder region. It is believed that he had been aware of the discovery in 1853 when he directed Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins to put an hump in the rear of the Life-sized Megalosaurus sculpture at Crystal Palace Park, which also inspired other restorations from the 19th century.

The fossil, which is now known as NHMUK R1828 is believed to be discovered in a sedimentary layer in the Hastings Bed Group dating back to the late Valanginian time. It is composed of a sequence of three dorsal vertebrae posterior to each other. Owen also noted an absence in the nodules in two right ribs, and two additional series with two dorsal vertebral centrala each. Olshevsky believed that the holotype was an eighth and the 10th dorsal vertebrae. the later researches, however, have believed that they were 11th, tenth, and twelveth.

The year 1888 was the first time Richard Lydekker compared these vertebrae to material that was referred to as Megalosaurus dunkeri which is which is a Cretaceous species that is represented by one tooth that was found in Germany. In 1923 Friedrich von Huene created a separate genus for Megalosaurus dunkeri. He made use of the three vertebrae to form the base for the genus, noting that they were distinct from Megalosaurus and came up with their term Altispinax (meaning “with high spines”) in reference to their appearance. Numerous later researches concluded that Megalosaurus dunkeri would have received the name of a new genus as Altispinax dunkeri. This combination was that was first utilized for the first time around 1939. Oskar Kuhn.

The Altispinax was later considered a nomen dubium as the tooth alone was not diagnostic. It was impossible to establish a relationship with the tooth or vertebrae. The vertebrae were named anew at the time of 1988 Gregory Paul. Paul thought they were the possibility of a brand new kind of Acrocanthosaurus that he named Acrocanthosaurus? altispinax. The name was intentionally created to be identical to the original generic name to emphasise the fact that both refer to vertebrae. The question mark indicates that, as you can see from the marking, Paul himself was uncertain regarding the assignment. In 1991, a new genus was created. Becklespinax was given the name of Vertebrae in the name of George Olshevsky, in honour of the first discoverer, Beckles. The name was changed to the new combination name for the species of type Acrocanthosaurus? altispinax, which is now Becklespinax altispinax. The names of the species Altispinax altispinax, and Altispinax Lydekkerhueneorum are the lone alternative synonyms. A review of this tangled classification history was published by Michael Maisch. Maisch found the following: von Huene, when he identified Altispinax dunkeri, purposefully base the species on vertebrae, not the Megalosaurus dunkeri tooth. Since both species were based on different types of specimens, the later researchers did not think that they were the same species. Instead, according to the interpretation of Maisch’s guidelines of the ICZN, Altispinax dunkeri (based on the tall-spined vertebrae) and Megalosaurus dunkeri (based on the tooth of Germany) is a distinct species which are both based on the same name for species. Since the names later invented by Paul Olshevsky and Paul Olshevsky were inspired by the same vertebrae that was used in the work of von Huene to name Altispinax dunkeri. All of the later names should be considered to be junior names (different names for the identical fossil) as well as Altispinax dunkeri, which was given the name first, is the one that has priority as the proper name for the species.

Source: Wikipedia