Last Look

Boola Boola?

Illustration by Alan Male

Illustration by Alan Male

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Workers at a quarry near Manchester, Connecticut, in 1891 were responsible for the discovery of Yale's own dinosaur. When they found the skeleton, mostly intact though missing an arm, a leg, and its tail, they contacted Yale's great paleontologist, O. C. Marsh '60. Marsh declared the six-foot-long herbivore a new species. In 1932, another paleontologist—paying tribute to the Peabody Museum, which still houses the skeleton—gave the animal its name: Yaleosaurus. 

The Yaleosaurus, which lived about 200 million years ago, typically stood on all fours as it grazed. But it could pop up quickly and run fast on its hind legs if a predator drew near.

Yale's specimen remains the most complete in the world, but the name has not stuck. After further study, scientists decided that the Yaleosaurus is actually an anchisaurus. Which is probably just as well. According to Daniel Brinkman '94MPhil, a Peabody curatorial assistant, the dinosaur was no academic. "It had a brain the size of an unshelled ballpark peanut," he says.  

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