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Temporal range: Upper Cretaceous
Palaeoscincus costatus.jpg
Palaeoscincus costatus holotype tooth
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Ornithischia
Suborder: Thyreophora
Infraorder: Ankylosauria
Family: ?Nodosauridae
Genus: Palaeoscincus
Binomial name
Palaeoscincus costatus
Leidy, 1856

Palaeoscincus (meaning "ancient skink" from the Greek παλαιός and σκίγγος) is a dubious genus of ankylosaurian dinosaur based on teeth from the mid-late Campanian-age Upper Cretaceous Judith River Formation of Montana.[1] Like several other dinosaur genera named by Joseph Leidy (Deinodon, Thespesius, and Trachodon), it is an historically important genus with a convoluted taxonomy that has been all but abandoned by modern dinosaur paleontologists. Because of its wide use in the early 1900s, it was somewhat well-known to the general public, often through illustrations of an animal with the armor of Edmontonia and the tail club of an ankylosaurid.

Reassigned species[edit]

Seven species have been referred to this genus over the years, which have since been reassigned to other genera:

Today, the type species P. costatus and thereby the genus is considered to be an indeterminate ankylosaurian,[10][11] perhaps an indeterminate nodosaurid.[3][5][12]


  1. ^ Leidy, J. (1856). "Notice of remains of extinct reptiles and fishes, discovered by Dr. F. V. Hayden in the Bad Lands of the Judith River, Nebraska Territories". Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Science Philadelphia 8: 72–73. 
  2. ^ Broom, R. (1912). "Observations on some specimens of South African fossil reptiles preserved in the British Museum". Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa 2: 19–25. doi:10.1080/00359191009519357. 
  3. ^ a b Coombs, Jr. (1978). "The families of the ornithischian dinosaur order Ankylosauria". Palaeontology 21 (1): 143–170. 
  4. ^ Lambe, L.M. (1902). "On Vertebrata of the mid-Cretaceous of the Northwest Territory. 2. New genera and species from the Belly River Series (mid-Cretaceous)". Contributions to Canadian Paleontology 3: 25–81. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Coombs, Jr., W.P. (1990). Teeth and taxonomy in ankylosaurs. In: Carpenter, K., and Currie, P.J. (eds.). Dinosaur Systematics: Approaches and Perspectives. Cambridge University Press:Cambridge, 269-279. ISBN 0-521-36672-0
  6. ^ Marsh, O.C. (1892). "Notes on Mesozoic vertebrate fossils". American Journal of Science 44: 171–176. 
  7. ^ Henning, C.L. (1914). "Ueber neuer Saurierfunde aus Kanada und deren geologische Position". Naturwissenschaften 2 (31): 769–776. doi:10.1007/BF01496485. 
  8. ^ Gilmore, C.W. (1930). "On dinosaurian reptiles from the Two Medicine Formation of Montana". United States National Museum, Proceedings 77: 1–39. doi:10.5479/si.00963801.77-2839.1. 
  9. ^ Hennig, E., 1915, Stegosauria: Fossilium Catalogus I, Animalia pars 9, 16 pp
  10. ^ Carpenter, K. (2001). Phylogenetic analysis of the Ankylosauria. In: Carpenter, K. (ed.). The Armored Dinosaurs. Indiana University Press:Bloomington, 455-483. ISBN 0-253-33964-2
  11. ^ Vickaryous, M.K., Maryańska, T., and Weishampel, D.B., (2004). Ankylosauria. In: Weishampel, D.B., Dodson, P., and Osmólska, H. (eds.). The Dinosauria (second edition). University of California Press:Berkeley, 363-392. ISBN 0-520-24209-2
  12. ^ Ford, T.L. (2000). A review of ankylosaur osteoderms from New Mexico and a preliminary review of ankylosaur armor. In: Lucas, S.G., and Heckert, A.B. (eds.). Dinosaurs of New Mexico. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 17:157-176.

External links[edit]