The Marshosaurus bicentesimus Madsen was named in 1976 by American Paleontologist James Masden to honor two things: founding paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh and the American Bicentennial.
The Marshosaurus is known chiefly from the Cleveland-Lloyd excavation. Flourishing approximately 150 million years ago in the Late Jurassic period, Marshosaurus belongs to the family of avetherapoda, the same family as velociraptor, Allosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Rex. Growing to a maximum of 20-24 feet, the Marshosaurus was not as large as some if its later relatives but no less fierce.
So Happy Birthday today to Othniel Charles Marsh, born on 29 October 1831. In his life he was an amazingly prolific scientist, naming the following dinosaur genera: Allosaurus (1877), Ammosaurus (1890),Anchisaurus (1885), Apatosaurus (1877), Atlantosaurus (1877), Barosaurus (1890),Camptosaurus (1885), Ceratops (1888), Ceratosaurus (1884), Claosaurus (1890), Coelurus(1879), Creosaurus (1878), Diplodocus (1878), Diracodon (1881), Dryosaurus (1894), Dryptosaurus (1877), Labrosaurus (1896),Laosaurus (1878), Nanosaurus (1877), Nodosaurus (1889), Ornithomimus (1890), Pleurocoelus (1891), Priconodon (1888), Stegosaurus(1877), Torosaurus (1891), Triceratops (1889). He named the suborders Ceratopsia (1890), Ceratosauria (1884), Ornithopoda (1881),Stegosauria (1877), and Theropoda. He also named the families Allosauridae (1878), Anchisauridae (1885), Camptosauridae (1885),Ceratopsidae (1890), Ceratosauridae, Coeluridae, Diplodocidae (1884), Dryptosauridae (1890), Nodosauridae (1890), Ornithomimidae(1890), Plateosauridae (1895), and Stegosauridae (1880). He also named many individual species of dinosaurs. His legacy has a single large asterisk: He fought fiercely against rival paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope in the so called ‘Bone Wars’, in which finds and sites were hidden or destroyed to avoid the other using the material. He died in March 1899.
Image of Marshosaurus courtesy Wikidino.