Since paleontology usually involves the group efforts of many people working together, there are only a few cases where a dinosaur is named exclusively after just one person. However, some fossil hunters and influential paleontologists have been honored with a prehistoric creature bearing their namesake. In this article, you will encounter a few cases where a dinosaur has been named after an individual.
After studying fossils found in North America (in Montana in the United States, Baja California in Mexico, and Alberta in Canada), Dr. William A Parks named the dinosaur species in 1923 to pay homage to Lawrence Lambe ”“ an early fossil hunter from Canada. The specimens were the first duck-billed dinosaur found in North America.
The Lambeosaurus was a crested, duck-billed dinosaur that lived during the Cretaceous period, which dates back 83 to 65 million years. He thrived at the end of the Mesozoic era, which was known as the Age of Reptiles. The creature would grow to reach a length of 30 to 50 feet long and weigh up to 5.6 tons. To date, the Lambeosaurus is considered the largest out of all the known duck-bill dinosaurs.
A distinguishing characteristic of the Lambeosaurus was a hollow, bony crest that leaned forward and was most likely used as a way to generate sounds, court a female, and/or heighten his sense of smell. Other characteristics of the dinosaur included a narrow snout, beak-like mouth, pebbly-textured skin, and possibly webbed fingers. The Lambeosaurus was an herbivore and dined on pine needles, twigs, and the leaves of flowering trees. Since the lizard had no natural defenses, they relied on a keen sense of hearing and sight to stay alive.
Leaellynosaura and Timimus
A married couple of paleontologists in Australia discovered a species of dinosaur that they decided to name after their daughter. The Leaellynosaura was a small ornithopod that was described as a gentle creature. This move was the first time that a dinosaur had been named after a child. The Leaellynosaura lived during the middle Cretaceous period ”“ about 105 million years ago. When it was full grown, it reached a length of about 10 feet and weighed around 100 pounds. The herbivore had a slender build, relatively large eyes, and a nicely sized brain. The dinosaur species is particularly interesting because it lived farther in the south than other species. During its time period, Australia was quite cold and experienced long, dark winters.
A couple of years later, the pair managed to slip in another personalized naming of a dinosaur species when they called the ornithomimid dinosaur that they found Timimus ”“ after the husband. The dinosaur lived about 110 to 100 million years ago, during the middle Cretaceous period. Reaching up to 12 feet long and weighing 500 pounds, the dinosaur was most likely an omnivore ”“ eating both plants and meat. Other characteristics of the creature include slender legs and the ability to walk on two legs.
The Chassternbergia is believed to be a species of dinosaur that resembled the ankylosaurus, which was a heavily armored dinosaur with spikes all over its body. The dinosaur was named after Charles Sternberg, who was an American-Canadian fossil collector and paleontologist that lived from 1885 to 1981.