St. Patrick’s Dinosaur

The little drop of Irish in me (by way of my paternal grandmother’s people) urges me to get a jump on St. Patrick’s Day, two days early, to celebrate the first dinosaur skeleton found in Ireland. Actually it was discovered in 2014, but I somehow missed the story at the time. ( )

This is an exceedingly strange-looking dinosaur! I can’t think of another dinosaur with such long forelimbs in proportion to its total size. You’d almost think it was some kind of mammal, with a build like that–but it’s most unlikely that any paleontologist worth his salt would ever confuse a dinosaur with a mammal.

Most dinosaur finds are nowhere near as well-preserved as this: we know so many dinosaurs from only bits and pieces. Enough of this creature is preserved to confuse scientists. They haven’t been able to decide just what kind of dinosaur it is. But it’s certainly put the city of Waterford on the prehistoric map.

Well, enjoy it–another tantalizing piece of God’s creation.


5 comments on “St. Patrick’s Dinosaur

  1. Very interesting! The odd length of the forelimbs in relation to the rear almost looks as if someone put its legs on backwards. Quite a find! It doesn’t appear to be a very large animal, unless this happened to be very young.

    My youngest daughter’s birthday is St. Patrick’s Day, and so is a friend of ours.

    1. Once upon a time, the great E.D. Cope attached Elasmosaurus’ skull to its tail instead of its neck–an error pointed out by O.C. Marsh in front of a lot of people, thus launching one of the great scientific feuds of all time.

  2. I don’t see any reptile looking features on this creature. Very mammal teeth. Maybe since it was found in strata from the viking age it was one of the critters vikings carved on their ship prows. Look for this ” fossil” to go away soon.

    1. You know, I thought the front teeth did look mammalian, too. But there are so many diagnostic features in skulls that it just doesn’t seem possible for a paleontologist to mistake a mammal skull for a reptile.

      I’m still goggling at those peculiar long forelimbs, also very un-reptilian. All in all, a very strange animal.

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