Camarasaurus lentus

 

FACTS

Camarasaurus is the most common dinosaur at the Carnegie Quarry

The most complete juvenile and adult specimens of Camarasaurus lentus known to science are from the Carnegie Quarry.

Camarasaurus is Greek for “chambered lizard”, referring to the hollow nature of its vertebrae, which most likely supported an air-sac system

The Camarasaurus dinosaurs roam a jurassic floodplain

An adult and juvenile Camarasaurus stroll through the Morrison Ecosystem.


Camarasaurus lentus is a species of sauropod dinosaur from the Late Jurassic of the Morrison Formation, represented in the quarry at Dinosaur National Monument. Camarasaurus lentus was a herbivore, and grew up to fifty feet long, shorter in length than some of its contemporaries like Diplodocus and Apatosaurus, but stood taller. A juvenile specimen found in Carnegie Quarry is on display at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the specimen is the most complete sauropod skeleton known to science and has been extensively studied. Five skulls and three nearly complete skeletons make Camarasaurus lentus the most common dinosaur at the quarry. A complete skull is featured on the quarry wall, and the anatomy of this skull was described in a Bulletin of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History by paleontologists, Jim Madsen, John McIntosh, and David Berman. Studies of the wear marks on the teeth of Camarasaurus, which were robust and spoon-shaped, reveal that it may have divided food resources among the other sauropods of the Morrison Formation (Fiorillo, 1998).

Specimens of Camarasaurus lentus from the Carnegie Quarry:

Juvenile Camarasaurus Exhibit

This juvenile Camarasaurus lentus specimen from the Carnegie Quarry is the single most complete speciemen of a sauropod known to science. It is one forth the size of an adult. The photo is of a cast at the Dinosaur National Monument Quarry Visitor Center, the original is on display at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

Juvenile Camarasaurus Dedication 1986

This cast of juvenile Camarasaurus lentus was prepared by the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and was presented to Dinosaur National Monument in 1986. This photo is from the dedication ceremony.

P28A0007

DINO 2580: This neck and skull of Camarasaurus is one of two featured on the wall of bones at the Quarry Visitor Center. It is complete except for the right lower jaw and loose bones of the palate, which were removed in order to expose the underside of the skull for scientific study. 

 

P28A0001

This specimen of Camarasaurus lentus can be seen in the Quarry Visitor Center, and is the most complete single specimen on the wall of bones. The skull is one of two featured on the quarry wall, although it is disarticulated and partially covered. 

DINO 28: This specimen of Camarasaurus lentus was excavated in the early 1950’s before the construction of the Quarry Visitor Center. It includes an articulated neck and complete but disarticulated skull. The bones of this specimen have been cleared of matrix, and are highly scientific in value. 

Chatterjee, S. And Zheng, Z. 2005. Neuroanatomy and dentition of Camarasaurus lentus. in: Tidwell, V. and Carpenter, K. (eds.) Thunder Lizards: The Sauropodomorph Dinosaurs. Indiana University Press, Bloomington: 199-211. Link to publication

Ellinger, T.U.H. 1950. Camarasaurus annae — a new American sauropod dinosaur. American Naturalist 84: 225-228.

Fiorillo, A.R. 1998b. Dental microwear patterns of sauropod dinosaurs Camarasaurus and Diplodocus: evidence for resource partitioning in the Late Jurassic of North America. Historical Biology 13: 1-16. Link to publication

Gilmore, C.W. 1925a. A nearly complete, articulated skeleton of Camarasaurus, a saurischian dinosaur from the Dinosaur National Monument. Memoirs of the Carnegie Museum X: 347-384.

Holland, W.J. 1924b. Description of the type of Uintasaurus douglassi. Annals of the Carnegie Museum XV: 119-138.

Madsen, J.H., McIntosh, J.S., and Berman, D.S. 1995. Skull and atlas-axis complex of the Upper Jurassic sauropod Camarasaurus Cope (Reptilia: Saurischia. Bulletin of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History 31: 115 pp.

White, T.E. 1958a. The braincase of Camarasaurus lentus. Journal of Paleontology 32(3): 477-494. Link to publication

Zheng, Z. 1996. Cranial Anatomy of Shunosaurus and Camarasaurus (Dinosauria: Sauropoda) and the Phylogeny of the Sauropoda. Ph.D. Dissertation, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas: 194pp. Link to publication

As an open science, open source initiative, all fossil data and many of the records and images on this website are licensed in the public domain. However, not everything has the same license, so please check for license information in the caption or metadata before use. Dinosaur National Monument mural artwork, including the full-color illustrations of dinosaurs and other animals, is owned by the National Park Service and may be used freely for non-commercial purposes with the credit: "NPS Artwork by Bob Walters and Tess Kissinger."

For fossil fans who code or design, there are also a number of ways to be a part of the Digital Quarry Project. To contribute, visit our GitHub project page.