• Pronounced:  ahk-en-oh-Saw-russ

  • Diet:  None

  • Name Means:  "lizard of Aachen"

  • Length:  None

  • Height:  None

  • Weight:  None

  • Time:  None

Fossil remains for this Dinosaur have been found in the region between Belgium and Germany.

The two most curious facts about the Aachenosaurus are:

a) The Aachenosaurus is usually the first name that you will find in most lists of dinosaurs.

b) The Aachenosaurus was not actually a dinosaur, or even ever a living creature.

In 1887 Abbey G. Smets, a professor of natural sciences of a nearby college reported that he had discovered what he believed to be two pieces of jaw bone that once belonged to a new type of hadrosaur (dinosaur with a duck-like beak) that Smets was quick to name Aachenosaurus.

The word Aachenosaurus means "lizard of Aachen", which was chosen to reference the location in which the fossils were discovered. The deposits of Aachenianos Moresnet were located within a neutral territory between Belgium and Germany.

Smets estimated from the size of the remains he had found that the creature would likely have been about about 4 or 5 meters in length. In fact, Smets proceeded to extrapolate some fairly extensive details about the animal based upon his examination of the fragments, and made several claims that would later come back to haunt him such as mentioning that the bones had been examined under a microscope.

Smets presented his discovery to the Belgian Society of Geology in 1888. It was here that Louis Dollo, an expert on Paleontology, examined the remains and quickly identified the fragments as nothing more than curiously shaped petrified wood.

If you take anything away from Smets' experience, let it be that you should always triple check your findings before going public...

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