Name: Galeamopus hayi
Meaning: Galeamopus translates to “needs helmet”, in reference to the sauropod’s fragile brain case. The name hayi was named in honour of paleontologist Oliver Hay, when the dinosaur was thought to be a species of Diplodocus.
Age: Late Jurassic, between 157 and 152 million years old.
Where in the world?: The Morrison Formation of Colorado and Wyoming.
What sort of critter?: Galeamopus belonged to a subset of sauropods called diplodocids, known for their long snouts, peg-like teeth, and “whiplash” tails.
Size: Unknown, but likely comparable to Diplodocus.
How much of the creature’s body is known?: A partial skeleton, including a skull.
Claim to fame: Sometimes new dinosaurs are hiding in plain sight. While originally described as a new species of Diplodocus in 1924, a new analysis by Emanuel Tschopp and colleagues has now proposed that the dinosaur is different enough from its relatives to deserve a new name – Galeamopus. Such determinations not only help paleontologists catalog the diversity of animals that were living at a certain place and time, but are important to tracking the evolution of some of Earth’s largest creatures.
Tschopp, E., Mateus, O., Benson, R. 2015. A specimen-level phylogenetic analysis and taxonomic revision of Diplodocidae (Dinosauria, Sauropoda). PeerJ. doi: 10.7717/peerj.857