Cedrorestes, which means “Cedar Mountain dweller”, was an ornithopod dinosaur which lived in Utah during the early Cretaceous Period. The fossils of this animal were discovered in eastern Utah in 2001. These were fragmentary remains consisting of pieces of ribs, parts of the hip, a right femur, a single metatarsal from the right foot, and sections of ossified tendons (presumably belonging to the tail). The fossils were found in mudstone layers which were positioned at the top of the Yellow Cat Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation, circa 132 MYA.

In the 2007 article which named it, the authors classified Cedrorestes as a basal hadrosauriform, but others aren’t so sure, claiming that it’s a highly derived iguanodontid. This is partly due to the incompleteness of the fossil remains which makes it difficult to identify, and partly because the few bones which have been found show features belonging to both ornithopod groups. Because only partial remains have been discovered, it’s uncertain how large Cedrorestes would have been when fully grown. Due to the creature’s possible classification as either a highly derived iguanodontid or a basal hadrosauriform, and by looking at the size of other ornithopod dinosaurs within those categories, it’s likely that Cedrorestes measured somewhere between 15 to 20 feet long.

Below is a drawing that I made of Cedrorestes. No skull elements were found with the specimen, so the animal’s appearance is based upon other primitive hadrosauriforms like Mantellisaurus, Probactrosaurus, Choyrodon, and Eolambia. The drawing was made in 1/12 scale, measuring 20 inches long, and was made using an ordinary black ballpoint pen on printer paper.

Cedrorestes crichtoni. © Jason R. Abdale (November 24, 2022).

Keep your pencils sharp, people. And don’t let your pens and markers dry out, either.

Categories: Paleontology, Uncategorized

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