List of informally named dinosaurs

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"Nurosaurus" mounted skeleton

This list of informally named dinosaurs is a listing of dinosaurs (excluding Aves; birds and their extinct relatives) that have never been given formally published scientific names. This list only includes names that were not properly published ("unavailable names") and have not since been published under a valid name. The following types of names are present on this list:

  • Latin for "naked name" (Nomen nudum): A name that has appeared in print but has not yet been formally published by the standards of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. Nomina nuda (the plural form) are invalid, and are therefore not italicized as a proper generic name would be.
  • Latin for "manuscript name" (Nomen manuscriptum): A name that appears in manuscript of a formal, but not-peer-reviewed, publication that has no scientific backing. A nomen manuscriptum is equivalent to a nomen nudum for everything except the method of publication, and description.
  • Nicknames or descriptive names given to specimens or taxa by researchers or the press.



"Airakoraptor" is an informal name given to a genus of dromaeosaurian theropod from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia. The nomen nudum was accidentally created by Perle et al. in their 1992 in a citation for a paper called "Morphology Dromaeosaurian dinosaur-Airakoraptor from the upper cretaceous of Mongolia".[1][2] As the journal and volume of the listed paper contain no such publication, the actual title for the work likely being "New dromaeosaur material from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia" by the same authors as listed, there is no verifiable publication for this taxon name. The proper publication described three specimens, one of which is not referred to by a specimen number, and most likely corresponds to the material "Airakoraptor" was to be named for. This specimen, IGM 100/981, was found in Khulsan and is referrable to Dromaeosauridae while likely distinct from Velociraptor.[2]


"Andhrasaurus" is an informal genus of extinct armored ornithischian dinosaur from the Kota Formation of India. Ulansky (2014) coined the name for skull elements, about 30 osteoderms, and the extremities of vertebrae and limbs, all preserved in the collections of the GSI and assigned to Ankylosauria by Nath et al. (2002).[3] In 2016, Peter Malcolm Galton and Kenneth Carpenter noted that "Andhrasaurus" did not meet ICZN requirements and therefore declared it a nomen nudum, listing it as Thyreophora indet., while noting that the jawbones described by Nath et al. (2002) belonging to crocodylomorphs.[4] The dermal armor informally named "Andhrasaurus" was redescribed by Galton (2019).[5]


Pneumatic structures of "Angloposeidon"

"Angloposeidon" is the informal name given to a sauropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous Wessex Formation of the Isle of Wight in southern England.[6] It was a possible brachiosaurid but has not been formally named. Darren Naish, a notable vertebrate palaeontologist, has worked with the specimen and has recommended that this name only be used informally and that it not be published.[7] However, he published it himself in his book Tetrapod Zoology Book One from 2010.[8] The remains consist of a single cervical vertebra (MIWG.7306), which indicate it was a very large animal, 20 metres or greater in length.[9]


"Amargastegos" is an informally named genus of extinct stegosaurid ornithischian dinosaur known from the La Amarga Formation of Argentina on the basis of MACN N-43 (some dorsal osteoderms, the cervical and caudal vertebrae, and one skull bone). In 2016, Peter Malcolm Galton and Kenneth Carpenter declared it a nomen dubium, establishing it as Stegosauria indet.[4]


The "Archaeoraptor" fossil

"Archaeoraptor" is the informal generic name for an important fossil from China that was later discovered to be a fake. The name was created in an article published in National Geographic magazine in 1999, where the magazine claimed that the fossil was a "missing link" between birds and terrestrial theropod dinosaurs. Even prior to this publication there had been severe doubts about the fossil's authenticity. Further scientific study showed it to be a forgery constructed from rearranged pieces of real fossils from different species. Zhou et al. found that the head and upper body actually belong to a specimen of the primitive fossil bird Yanornis, and another 2002 study found that the tail belongs to a small winged dromaeosaur, Microraptor, named in 2000.[10][11] The legs and feet belong to an as yet unknown animal.[12][13]


"The Archbishop" in multiple views

"The Archbishop" is a giant brachiosaurid sauropod dinosaur similar to Brachiosaurus and Giraffatitan. It was long considered a specimen of Brachiosaurus (now Giraffatitan) brancai due to being found in the same formation in Tendaguru, Tanzania. However, the "Archbishop" shows significant differences including a unique vertebral morphology and a proportionally longer neck, that indicates it is a different, previously unknown genus and species.[14] It was discovered by Frederick Migeod in 1930. "The Archbishop" is a nickname that functions as a placeholder – the specimen currently has no scientific name. The specimen is currently housed in the Natural History Museum in London, and will eventually be re-described by Dr. Michael P. Taylor of Bristol University.[15] In May 2018, Taylor started to work on describing the Archbishop.[16]



"Bakesaurus" is an informal name for an ornithopod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of China. It is based on a maxilla assigned to Bactrosaurus in 2001.[17] The nomen nudum was created and pictured in the Chinese book The Dinosaur Egg Fossils in Nanyang, China by Zhou S. (2005).[18]


"Bayosaurus" is the informal name given to an as yet undescribed genus of dinosaur. The name was coined by paleontologists Rodolfo Coria, Philip J. Currie, and Paulina Carabajal in 2006. It apparently was an abelisauroid from the Turonian Cerro Lisandro Formation of Neuquén, Argentina, around 4 m (13 ft) long. The specimen is MCF-PVPH-237, including dorsal and sacral vertebrae, a fragmentary pelvis, and other partial bones. The name was used in a phylogenetic analysis to indicate the position of MCF-PVPH-237.[19]


"Beelemodon" is the informal name given to an undescribed theropod genus from the Late Jurassic, possibly belonging to a coelurosaur. The fossils include two teeth found in Wyoming, United States. The name appeared in print in 1997, when paleontologist Robert T. Bakker mentioned it in a symposium for the Academy of Natural Sciences.[20][21] The teeth are most similar to Compsognathus, but have no unique features and also share similarities with Protarchaeopteryx and dromaeosaurids.[21]


"Bihariosaurus" (meaning "Bihor lizard") is an invalid genus of iguanodontian dinosaur from Late Cretaceous Romania. The type species, "Bihariosaurus bauxiticus", was named but not described by Marinescu in 1989. It was similar to Camptosaurus, and was an iguanodont. The original publication of the taxon did not include sufficient description, and the illustrations cannot distinguish it from any other ornithopod.[22][23]



"Capitalsaurus" vertebra

"Capitalsaurus" is the informal genus name given to the species formerly known as Creosaurus potens and Dryptosaurus potens, a dinosaur from the Arundel Formation of North America. The only known specimen was discovered in Washington, D.C. It was a theropod, and it lived during the Cretaceous. It is a nomen nudum, the name having never been formally published. "Capitalsaurus" was discovered in January 1898 at the intersection of First and F Streets S.E., in the District of Columbia – an intersection now designated as Capitalsaurus Court. It was not uncovered by any paleontological activity, but as a by-product of sewer work. The only known specimen of "Capitalsaurus" consists of part of a single vertebra. Some paleontologists feel that this is insufficient justification for a name that suggests an entire genus, and that "Capitalsaurus" is merely an undetermined theropod.[24] Others note that this is hardly the only dinosaur with a common name that does not helpfully reflect its taxonomy.[25] The "Capitalsaurus" is the official dinosaur of the District of Columbia.[26]


"Changdusaurus" (also known as "Changtusaurus") is the informal name given to a genus of dinosaur from the Late Jurassic Period. It lived in what is now China. "Changdusaurus" is classified as a stegosaurid. The type species was named "Changdusaurus laminoplacodus" by Zhao in 1986,[27] but it has never been formally described, and remains a nomen nudum. One source indicates the fossils have been lost.[28]


"Comanchesaurus" is an informal name for fossilized remains from the Late Triassic of New Mexico that were initially interpreted as belonging to a theropod dinosaur. The remains, NMMNH P-4569, consist of a partial skeleton including vertebral centra and hindlimb bones, and came from the Norian-age Upper Triassic Bull Canyon Formation of Guadalupe County. Adrian Hunt, in his unpublished dissertation, proposed the name "Comanchesaurus kuesi" for the specimen, but the name was never adopted, and was first referred to in the scientific literature in a 2007 redescription of Late Triassic North American material thought to belong to dinosaurs (Nesbitt, Irmis, and Parker, 2007). In the redescription, the authors found the material to belong to a "possible indeterminate saurischian".[29]



"Dachongosaurus" is the informal name given to an undescribed genus of sauropod dinosaur from the Early Jurassic of China. It is known from fossils including at least a partial articulated skeleton from the Dark Red Beds of the Lower Lufeng Series (Sinemurian stage) in Yunnan.[30] Possibly a cetiosaur, the "type species" is "Dachongosaurus yunnanensis", coined by Zhao in 1985. An alternate spelling is "Dachungosaurus". As with other informal names coined by Zhao in 1985 and 1983, nothing has since been published, and the remains may have been redescribed under another name.[31]


"Damalasaurus" (meaning "Damala lizard") is the informal name given to a genus of herbivorous dinosaur from the Early Jurassic. It was a sauropod, though its exact classification within the clade is unknown. Fossils of "Damalasaurus", including a rib, have been found in the Middle Daye Group of Tibet. Species attributed to this genus include "Damalasaurus laticostalis" and "D. magnus".[30]


"Duranteceratops" is a possible taxon of chasmosaurine ceratopsid from the Hell Creek Formation.[32] In 2012, a new unidentified species of chasmosaur ceratopsian with noticeable differences from Triceratops was unearthed in South Dakota by a fossil hunter named John Carter.[33][34][32] Though it has yet to be published, according to the Prehistoric Times issue no. 121 from Spring 2017, the specimen is to be named "Duranteceratops".


EK troodontid

The "EK troodontid" (specimen SPS 100/44) is an unnamed genus of troodontid dinosaur discovered in Mongolia. In the scientific literature it is referred to as the "EK troodontid", after the Early Cretaceous sediments in which it was found. SPS 100/44 was discovered by S.M. Kurzanov during the 1979 Soviet-Mongolian Paleontological Expedition. It was found in deposits of the Barunbayaskaya Svita at the Khamareen Us locality, Dornogov (southeastern Gobi Desert), in the Mongolian People's Republic. SPS 100/44 was described by Rinchen Barsbold and colleagues in 1987.[35]

Its fossil remains include an incomplete skeleton consisting of the braincase, posterior parts of the lower mandibles, a maxillary fragment with teeth, parts of five cervical vertebrae, an articulated right manus with partial semilunate, left manus phalanx I-1, distal end of the left femur, and fragmentary left and right pedes. Barsbold pointed out that the specimen was smaller and from older sediments than other known troodontids, but it had some features of the skull that could have made it a juvenile. Barsbold also indicated the high degree of fusion of the bones of the skull and the unusual foot morphology to indicate that it might be an adult of an unknown taxon. Barsbold took the conservative position and did not name this specimen because it was not complete enough to rule out the possibility that it was a juvenile of a known genus of troodontid. Barsbold also noted that the naturally articulated manus of SPS 100/44 showed no signs of an opposable third digit, as was suggested for Troodon by Russell and Seguin in 1982. Turner and colleagues, in 2007, found the EK troodontid to be a distinct basal genus of troodontid, in a polytomy with Jinfengopteryx and a clade of more derived troodontids.[36]


"Eugongbusaurus" is the informal name (nomen nudum) proposed for a neornithischian found in the Oxfordian-age Shishugou Formation of Xinjiang, China. The intended type species, "Gongbusaurus" wucaiwanensis, was described by Dong Zhiming in 1989 for two partial skeletons as a second species of the poorly known tooth taxon Gongbusaurus. Fragmentary skeleton IVPP 8302, the type specimen for the new species, included a partial lower jaw, three tail vertebrae, and a partial forelimb. Second specimen IVPP 8303 consisted of two hip vertebrae, eight tail vertebrae, and two complete hind limbs. Dong estimated it as around 1.3 to 1.5 meters (4.3 to 4.9 ft) long, and considered it to be a strong runner. He assigned the genus Gongbusaurus to the Hypsilophodontidae, a paraphyletic grade of small herbivorous bipedal dinosaurs.[37] Because dinosaur teeth are generally not distinctive enough to hold a name, it is unsurprising that other paleontologists have suggested removing "G." wucaiwanensis from Gongbusaurus and giving it its own genus.[38] The possible replacement name "Eugongbusaurus"[39] leaked out accidentally and remains informal.



Fendusaurus is a nomen ex dissertationae proposed by Fedak (2007) FGM998GF13-II, which includes a skull and was formerly labeled as cf. Ammosaurus.[40] Other specimens are also assigned to Fendusaurus, FGM998GF13-I, FGM998GF13-III, FGM998GF69, FGM998GF9, and FGM998GF18, all found by a crew from the Princeton University.[41] All the specimens include femora and coracoids, and although they each share slightly different features, the differences are credited to intra-specific variation. The femora and coracoids also help identify different individuals, and Timothy J. Fedak, the described of the specimens, found that each block represented about one individual.[40] Fendusaurus is from the formation is from the Early Jurassic (Hettangian) McCoy Brook Formation of Wasson Bluff, Nova Scotia. As five specimens of Fendusaurus are from the McCoy Brook Formation, the formation is the richest prosauropod site in North America. The formation is also similar to other formations of North America and Asia, as it lacks any remains presently assigned to Anchisaurus.[40]

The specimens of Fendusaurus include mostly crushed vertebrae, along with appendicular elements.[41] They are distinguishable from Ammosaurus by the morphology of both the ilium and sacral vertebrae. However, in some specimens, the morphology of the femora and coracoids are quite different, which led Fedak to speculate that more than one species may have been present.[40] Fendusaurus, according to Fedak, can be distinguished from all closely related sauropodomorphs by the extreme elongation of the cervical vertebrae; a four vertebrae sacrum that includes a dorsosacral and caudosacral; the elongate postacetabular process of the ilium; and an expanded anterior distal process of the tibia.[40] Marsh found that the features are possibly present, but that Fendusaurus requires a reassessment to prove that it can be distinguished from other genera.[41]

Fedak places Fendusaurus as a genus of the family Massospondylidae.[40] Previously, the specimens were assigned to the derived sauropodomorphs Anchisaurus or cf. Ammosaurus.[40] Marsh misinterpreted the classification of Fendusaurus, stating that Fedak classified it as a plateosaurid, related to both Lufengosaurus, and Massospondylus.[41]


"Futabasaurus" is an informal name for a genus of theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Japan, known only from a partial shin bone discovered in the Coniacian-age Ashizawa Formation of the Futaba Group.[42] It was coined by David Lambert in 1990 as a conversion from the Japanese nickname "Futaba-ryu", for an undescribed theropod.[43] Dong Zhiming and coauthors briefly discussed the fossil shin bone it was based on that same year, publishing a photograph. They considered the bone to belong to an indeterminate tyrannosaurid.[44] If the specimen is eventually described and named, it will require a different name, because the name Futabasaurus has since been used for a genus of plesiosaur.[45]



Skeleton of Gadolosaurus

"Gadolosaurus" is an informal name given to an undescribed hadrosauroid from the Bayan Shireh Formation of Baishan Tsav, Mongolia.[46] The name "Gadolosaurus" was first used in a 1979 book by Japanese paleontologist Tsunemasa Saito, in a caption for a photo of a juvenile dinosaur skeleton.[47] This small individual was only about a meter long (39 inches). The skeleton was part of a Soviet exhibition of fossils in Japan. Apparently, the name comes from a Japanese phonetic translation of the Cyrillic word gadrosavr, or hadrosaur, and was never meant by the Russians to establish a new generic name.[48]

Despite being merely a mistranslation of gadrosavr, it appeared in many popular dinosaur books, with varying identifications. Donald F. Glut in 1982 reported it as either an iguanodont or hadrosaur, with no crest or boot on the ischium (the lack of which are both characteristics of the crested lambeosaurine duckbills), and suggested it could be the juvenile of a previously named genus like Tanius or Shantungosaurus.[49] David Lambert in 1983 classified it as an iguanodont,[50] but changed his mind by 1990, when it was listed as a synonym of Arstanosaurus without comment.[43] What may be the same animal is mentioned but not named by David B. Norman and Hans-Dieter Sues in a 2000 book on Mesozoic reptiles from Mongolia and the former USSR; this material, from the Soviet-Mongolian expeditions of the 1970s, had been listed as Arstanosaurus in the Russian Academy of Sciences, and was found in the Cenomanian-age Bayan Shireh Formation of Baishin Tsav.[51]


"Gspsaurus" (a nome manuscriptum) is a titanosaurian sauropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous Vitakri Formation of Sulaiman Basin of Pakistan.[52] It is represented by cranial and postcranial remains.[citation needed]


"Grusimimus" (or "Tsurumimus") is an informal name for an undescribed genus of ornithomimid from the Early Cretaceous (HauterivianBarremian) aged Shinekhudag Formation of Mongolia. Known from a skeleton including all regions except the skull, "Grusimimus" was given an invalid name in 1997 by Rinchen Barsbold, who also suggested the species name "tsuru". The specimen (GIN 960910KD) was found in 1996 and examined by Barsbold before he suggested the informal name, a nomen nudum. An abstract and poster were presented on the taxon by Kobayashi & Barsbold in 2002, and the former published a thesis paper on the specimen (referred to as "Ornithomimosauria indet.") which found the taxon to be close to Harpymimus phylogenetically but possible more derived.[53]



"Hanwulosaurus" is the informal name given to an as-yet undescribed genus of dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous. It was an ankylosaur around 9 meters (29.3 feet) long, which is long for an ankylosaur. Its fossils were found in Inner Mongolia, China. Much of a skeleton, including a complete skull, vertebrae, ribs, a scapula, an ulna, femorae, bones from the shin, and armor, was discovered; this may be the most complete ankylosaurian skeleton yet found in Asia, according to early reports. Zhao Xijin, who has studied it, suggests that it may belong to its own subgroup within the Ankylosauria. The name first surfaced in news reports in 2001.[citation needed]


"Heilongjiangosaurus" (meaning "Heilongjiang lizard") is the informal name given to an as-yet undescribed genus of duckbilled dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous. It possibly was a lambeosaurine, and may in fact be the same animal as Charonosaurus. The fossils were found in Maastrichtian-age rocks in Heilongjiang, China. As a nomen nudum, it is unclear what material it was intended to be based on, but might be connected to the nomen nudum "Mandschurosaurus" jiainensis,[54] informally named in a 1983 publication.[55]

The "type species" is "H. jiayinensis", and it was coined in 2001 in a faunal list by Li and Jin.[56]


"Hironosaurus" (meaning "Hirono lizard") is the informal name given to an as-yet undescribed genus of dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous. Found in Hirono, Fukushima, Japan, it was probably a type of hadrosaur, although no subfamily identification has been made. The fossils are quite fragmentary, and consist of teeth and a vertebra, possibly from the tail. Since the fossils have never been fully described in a scientific paper, "Hironosaurus" is considered a nomen nudum. It was first mentioned by Hisa in an obscure 1988 publication[57] and was later (1990) brought to a wider audience by David Lambert.[43] Dong Zhiming, Y. Hasegawa, and Y. Azuma regarded the material as belonging to a hadrosaurid, but lacking any characteristics to allow more precise identification (thus indeterminate).[44]


"Hisanohamasaurus" (meaning "Hisano-hama lizard") is the informal name given to an as yet undescribed genus of dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous. It is a nomen nudum known only from teeth that first appeared in a general-audience dinosaur book by David Lambert in 1990. Although initially identified a diplodocid,[58] it later re-identified as a nemegtosaurid similar to Nemegtosaurus.[59] As its name suggests, its fossils were found in Japan. The location is part of Iwaki, Fukushima.



"Ichabodcraniosaurus" is an informal name for theropod fossils were first discovered within the Gobi Desert in China. The remains consist of a partial skeleton without a head (IGM 100/980), from which its name refers to the fictional character Ichabod Crane, a character in the history of Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, where he was pursued by a headless horseman. Fossils include a hyoid bone, cervical vertebrae, a supposed skull and a supposed jaw bone. "Ichabodcraniosaurus" was named by Novacek in 1996.[60] This specimen may belong to Velociraptor mongoliensis, but Norell and Makovicky concluded that it was not complete enough to say for sure, and it awaits a formal description.[61]




"Kagasaurus" (meaning "Kaga lizard") is the informal name given to an as yet undescribed genus of dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous. It was a theropod which lived in what is now Japan. The type species was named by Hisa in 1988, but is known from only two teeth. Since "Kagasaurus" has never been formally described, it is considered a nomen nudum. Unlike "Kitadanisaurus" and Katsuyamasaurus, it is unlikely that "Kagasaurus" is synonymous with Fukuiraptor, and may instead be a dromaeosaurid.[citation needed]


"Katsuyamasaurus" is an informal name for a genus of intermediate theropod known from the Early Cretaceous (Barremian) of the Kitadani Formation, Japan. Known from a single middle caudal vertebra and an ulna, the taxon was informally called "Katsuyama-ryu", until Lambert (1990) made it into an invalid genus name, "Katsuyamasaurus". The caudal vertebra was suggested to belong to an ornithopod by Chure (2000), and Olshevsky (2000) suggested the material was a synonym of Fukuiraptor. However, the ulna differs from Fukuiraptor, and the large olecranon suggests the taxon falls outside Maniraptoriformes.[62]


"Koreanosaurus" (meaning "Korean lizard") is the informal name given to an as-yet undescribed genus of dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous. It was a possible dromaeosaur (or similar theropod) which lived in what is now Korea, although at times it has been referred to the Tyrannosauridae and Hypsilophodontidae. Based solely on a femur, the name was coined by Kim in 1979, but by 1993 Kim decided that it was a species of Deinonychus, and created the informal name "D." "koreanensis".[63]


"Kunmingosaurus" is an informally named primitive sauropod which lived during the Early Jurassic. Its fossils were found in Yunnan Province, China in 1954. The type and only species is "Kunmingosaurus wudingensis", invalidly coined by Zhao in 1985. It is known from fossils found in the Fengjiahe Formation (or the Lower Lufeng Series), including pelvic, hind limb, and vertebral material.[30][64][65][66]



"Lancanjiangosaurus" (alternative spelling "Lanchanjiangosaurus"; meaning "Lancangjiang lizard", named after the Lancangjiang River of China) is the informal name given to an as yet undescribed genus of sauropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic. The "type species", "L. cachuensis", was coined by Zhou in 1985, but remains a nomen nudum. It is known from the Dapuka Group of Tibet.[30]


"Liassaurus" is the informal name given to an as yet undescribed genus of dinosaur from the Early Jurassic of Warwickshire, England. It was a probable ceratosaur which lived in what is now Europe. The type species, "L. huenei", was coined by Welles, H.P. Powell, and Stephan Pickering in 1995 and was approximately 6 meters long. The name "Liassaurus" comes from "Lias", another name for the Early Jurassic, in reference to the Blue Lias, which dates to the Sinemurian stage. The species name honors well-known paleontologist Friedrich von Huene,[67] who in 1932 referred "Liassaurus" to Sarcosaurus; Carrano and Sampson (2004) treated it as cf. Sarcosaurus woodi pending discovery of better material.[68][69] Although mentioned in papers as far back as 1995, "Liassaurus" has never been formally described; it is thus a nomen nudum.


"Likhoelesaurus" (meaning "Li Khole lizard") is the name given to an as yet undescribed genus of archosauriform, either a dinosaur or rauisuchian, from the Late Triassic of what is now South Africa. The name was coined by Ellenberger in 1970, and the "type species" is "Likhoelesaurus ingens".[70] It is named after the town in Lesotho where the fossils were found. The only fossils recovered have been teeth, from the late Carnianearly Norian-age Lower Elliot Formation.[71] Ellenberger (1972) regarded the genus as a giant carnosaur, and Kitching and Raath (1984) treated it as possibly referable to Basutodon.[72][73] Knoll listed "Likhoelesaurus" as a rauisuchian, also he noted that could also be a rauisuchian.[74]



"Madsenius" (meaning "Madsen's", for James Henry Madsen, Jr., a paleontologist who among other work produced a major monograph on Allosaurus in 1976) is the name given to remains from Dinosaur National Monument assigned to Allosaurus from the Late Jurassic of North America, from the Morrison Formation. It was a theropod which may have been closely related to Allosaurus, or even a species of Allosaurus. The informal name was coined by David Lambert in 1990. Reportedly, it is based on remains referred Allosaurus and Creosaurus (a synonym of Allosaurus), and was to be described by well-known paleontologist Bob Bakker as "Madsenius trux".[75]


"Magulodon" is the name given to an as yet undescribed genus of dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous (Aptian to Albian stages, approximately 112 million years ago). It was a possible ornithischian, either an ornithopod or basal ceratopsian, which lived in what is now Maryland, in the United States. The type species, "Magulodon muirkirkensis", was coined by Kranz in 1996.[76] It is a tooth taxon, based solely on a single tooth. Since it has not been formally described, it is also a nomen nudum. It was considered to be an indeterminate specimen in a paper which cited the intended type specimen but avoided using the name to prevent taxonomic clutter.[77]


"Moajandino" is a Titanosaurian sauropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous red muds of the Vitakri Formation of Sulaiman Basin, Pakistan. The dinosaur shared a habitat with other sauropod dinosaurs including Khetranisaurus barkhani, Sulaimanisaurus gingerichi, Pakisaurus, Gspsaurus pakistani, Saraikimasoom vitakri, and Nicksaurus razashahi.[78]


"Megacervixosaurus" (meaning "big neck lizard") is the informal name given to an as yet undescribed genus of herbivorous dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous. It was a titanosaur sauropod which lived in what is now China. The type species, "Megacervixosaurus tibetensis", was coined by Chinese paleontologist Zhao Xijin in 1985. "Megacervixosaurus" has never been formally described, and remains a nomen nudum.[79]


Knee-joint and a claw of Merosaurus

"Merosaurus" is the informal name given to an as yet undescribed genus of dinosaur from the Early Jurassic (Sinemurian stage, around 190 million years ago). It was a tetanuran theropod which lived in what is now England. The type species, "Merosaurus newmani", was coined by paleontologists Samuel Welles, H.P. Powell, and A. Pickering in 1995, and is based solely on some leg bones (a knee joint) once thought to belong to Scelidosaurus.[80][81]


"Microcephale" (meaning "tiny head") is the informal name of a genus of very small pachycephalosaurid dinosaur, otherwise known as the "North American dwarf species", which lived during the Late Cretaceous. Its fossils were found in the late Campanian-age Dinosaur Park Formation, in Alberta, Canada. Not much is known about this dinosaur, as it has not yet been fully described; it is therefore a nomen nudum. The fossils of "Microcephale", including tiny skull caps, were first mentioned by paleontologist Paul Sereno in 1997, in a list of pachycephalosaurids. These skull caps measure less than 5 cm (2 in) each. No potential species name was given.


"Microdontosaurus" (meaning "tiny-toothed lizard") is the name given to an as yet undescribed genus of sauropod dinosaur from China. It was named from fossils from the Middle Jurassic-age Dapuka Group of Xinjiang. The intended type species is "M. dayensis."[30] As with other informal names created by Zhao in 1985 or 1983, it has not been used since then, and may have been redescribed under another name.[82]


"Mifunesaurus" (meaning 'Mifune lizard') is a dubious genus of extinct non-avian theropod dinosaur from Cenomanian rocks of Japan. Mifunesaurus is only known from a few bones, among which are a tibia, a phalanx, a metatarsus and a single tooth. The genus was named by Hisa in 1985. No species has been designated yet.[83]


"Moroccoraptor" (meaning "robber from Morocco") is the name given to undescribed isolated Dromaeosauridae-teeth of the Kem Kem Formation (Morocco, Cenomanium). The teeth can possible belongs to more than 1 species of Dromaeosaurs or Abelisaurids.[84]


The "Moshisaurus" humerus

Hisa (1985) used "Moshisaurus" (or "Moshi-ryu") for sauropod remains from the Early Cretaceous Miyako Group of Japan. Dong et al. (1990) and Hasegawa et al. (1991) referred them to Mamenchisaurus, but Azuma & Tomida (1998) and Barrett et al. (2002) assigned them to Sauropoda indet.[85][86][87]



"Navajoceratops sullivani" is the informal name given to a species of ceratopsid dinosaur from New Mexico. The holotype specimen SMP VP-1500 is known from various skull bones including the parietal, squamosal, and jugal. It was collected from the Campanian Hunter Wash Member of the Kirtland Formation. In a phylogenetic analysis, "Navajoceratops" was found to be a stem-taxa between Pentaceratops-grade chasmosaurines and more derived genera such as Anchiceratops. It is notable that this species is more basal than "Terminocavus," another informally named dinosaur named in the same thesis. The specimen is considered nomen manuscriptum due to it being named in a thesis.[88]


Illustration of the "Newtonsaurus" dentary mold in internal and external views

"Newtonsaurus" is an informally named genus erected for the theropod dinosaur species Zanclodon cambrensis. It was probably a ceratosaur, which lived in what is now the United Kingdom. The taxon was reassigned to Megalosaurus due to the taxonomic difficulties associated with Zanclodon. It is based on a mold of a dentary from Rhaetian-age beds in Wales (hence the species name), and is one of the relatively few dinosaurs known from the time near the TriassicJurassic boundary.[89]

Paleontologists have avoided using the name "Newtonsaurus" since its appearance in 1999 in private publications, although "Zanclodon" cambrensis or Megalosaurus cambrensis have both been used for this taxon.[90][91]


"Ngexisaurus" is the informal name given to an as yet undescribed genus of theropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic Dapuka Group of Tibet, China. The type species, "Ngexisaurus dapukaensis", was coined by Zhao in 1983.[92][93][94]



A close-up of the head of "Nurosaurus qaganensis".

"Nurosaurus" (Nur-o-saw-rus, meaning "Nur lizard") is the informal name for a genus of sauropod dinosaur from the Cretaceous of Inner Mongolia, China. It is known from a partial skeleton that has often been seen in traveling exhibitions under various misspellings. "Nurosaurus" had a length of 25 meters (80 ft), and a weight of 22.7 tonnes (25 tons). The proposed binomial name is "Nurosaurus qaganensis" (Dong, 1992). "Nurosaurus" was one of the largest Chinese long-necked plant eaters. It may have been related to the North American Camarasaurus. This is seen because "Nurosaurus" has as a similar head and body shape. Photographs also show it had similarly-split neural spines on its back vertebrae. Several name variants of "Nurosaurus" are known, the most common being "Nuoerosaurus" (Dong and Li, 1991). The fossil has traveled under this name under some North American tours. The specific name has been spelled either "qaganensis" or "chaganensis".[citation needed]



"Orcomimus" (Pronounced or-coh-MEEM-us) is the name given to an as yet undescribed genus of dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous period 66 million years ago. The dinosaur was an ornithomimid which lived in what is now South Dakota, in the United States. The type was coined by Michael Triebold in 1997, but has never been formally described and is currently a nomen nudum. "Orcomimus" was a bipedal theropod, but the dinosaur is known from only a pelvis and a hindlimb. "Orcomimus" is thought to be relatively advanced for other ornithomimids at the time, although this is hard to tell from the limited amount of specimens found of the dinosaur.[95]


"Oshanosaurus" (meaning "Oshan lizard") is the informal name given to an as yet undescribed genus of sauropod dinosaur from the Early Jurassic period of Yunnan, China. Its fossils were found in the Lower Lufeng Series. The intended "type species", "Oshanosaurus youngi", was coined by Zhao in 1985.[30] It has sometimes been associated with heterodontosaurids, which appears to be due to the juxtaposition of a species of Dianchungosaurus (formerly thought to be a heterodontosaurid) in the text of Zhao (1985).[96]





Cast of "Ronaldoraptor"

"Ronaldoraptor" is an undescribed oviraptorid from Mongolia[97] and is currently officially listed as "Oviraptor sp."[98]



"Saldamosaurus" is an informal genus of stegosaurid dinosaur known from a complete braincase discovered in the Early Cretaceous Saldam Formation of Siberia, Russia. The type species, "Saldamosaurus tuvensis", was named in 2014 but according to Galton and Carpenter (2016) it did not meet the requirements of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature and is hence a nomen nudum,.[99][100]


Skeleton of "Saltillomimus"

"Saltillomimus" is an informal name for an ornithomimid theropod from the Late Cretaceous (late Campanian) of the Cerro del Pueblo Formation in Mexico. It is known from a partial tail, most of a hindlimb, and forelimb bones that was given the name "Saltillomimus rapidus" by Martinez in 2010. Named in his thesis, the taxon name is an invalid nomen ex dissertationae.[53]


"Sanchusaurus" (meaning "Lizard from Sanchu") is an informal name for an ornithomimosaur dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous period of Asia. It is only known by a partial tail vertebra,[44] found in Nakasato, Japan.[101] Dong (1990) [44] considered it synonymous with Gallimimus but the large discrepancy in both age and location between the two species renders this opinion untenable. The genus has not been formally described and is considered a nomen nudum. It was first mentioned by Hisa in 1985.[102]


"Saraikimasoom" (meaning 'Innocent one') is an invalid species of titanosaur dinosaur from the Vitakri Formation in Pakistan. The type species, Saraikimasoom vitakri, was described by Sadiq Malkhani in 2015, in a paper describing multiple Pakistani dinosaurs, such as "Gspsaurus", "Nicksaurus" and "Maojandino".[103] Saraikimasoom is currently recognised as a nomen manuscriptum.

Shake-N-Bake theropod

The "Shake-N-Bake theropod" is an undescribed species of coelophysoid from the Kayenta Formation.[104][105]


"Siamodracon" is an extinct genus of invalid stegosaurid dinosaur known from a single dorsal vertebra found in Thailand's Phu Kradung Formation. According to Galton and Carpenter (2016) it did not meet the requirements of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.[106][99]



The upper femur of "Suciasaurus"

A fossil theropod nicknamed "Suciasaurus rex" was discovered in 2012 at Sucia Island State Park in San Juan County of the U.S. State of Washington. It was the first dinosaur discovered in Washington state.[107][108] The finding was announced when Burke Museum paleontologists published a discovery paper in PLoS ONE.[109][110] Prompted by a petition from students at an elementary school at Parkland, near Tacoma, the Washington State Legislature introduced a bill in 2019 to make it the official state dinosaur.[107][108][111]


"Sugiyamasaurus" (meaning "Sugiyama lizard") is the informal name given to a few spatulate teeth belonging to a titanosauriform, possibly Fukuititan, which lived in Japan during the Early Cretaceous. The name was first printed by David Lambert in 1990 in the Dinosaur Data Book, and also appears in Lambert's Ultimate Dinosaur Book and in many on-line lists of dinosaurs. Since it has not been formally described, "Sugiyamasaurus" is a nomen nudum. Remains were found near Katsuyama City and were initially referred to Camarasauridae, but might belong to Fukutitan because they were unearthed in the same quarry as the Fukuititan material.[112][113][114]



"Terminocavus sealeyi" is the informal name given to specimen NMMNH P-27468, a ceratopsid dinosaur discovered from the Campanian Hunter Wash Member of the Kirtland Formation of New Mexico. It is known from an incomplete skull, including the parietals, the right squamosal, and left jugal. "Terminocavus" derives its name from "closing cavity," after how the parietal embayment found in closely related but more basal species is nearly gone, while "sealeyi" honors Paul Sealey, the man who discovered specimen NMMH P-27468. The specimen was published in the PhD thesis of Denver Fowler. Due to its being named in a thesis, this name is considered nomen manuscriptum. The thesis's phylogenetic analysis found "Terminocavus" to be a "stratigraphic intermediate" between older forms of chasmosaurine ceratopsid such as Pentaceratops and more derived species, such as Anchiceratops. It should be notes that this species was found to be more derived than "Navajoceratops," another informally named dinosaur found in the thesis.[88]


"Tiantaisaurus", alternatively spelled "Tiantaiosaurus", is the name given to a specimen of therizinosaur from the Aptian age Laijia Formation of Zhejiang Province, China. According to correspondence through the Dinosaur Mailing List, the former name (from a 2012 study) was the one intended to be use for an official description. After being discovered in 2005, it was first mentioned named in an unpublished manuscript written in 2007. The given species was name was "T. sifengensis". The specimen consists of an ischium, an astragalus, a tibia, a femur, an incomplete pubis and ilium, and a large number of vertebrae from across the body.[115][116]


"Thotobolosaurus" or "Kholumolumosaurus" is the name given to an as yet not formally described genus of dinosaur. It lived during the Late Triassic (Carnian to Norian stage). "Thotobolosaurus" lived in what is present-day Lesotho, and is believed to have been a prosauropod or early sauropod. The suggested "type species", "Thotobolosaurus mabeatae", was coined by Paul Ellenberger in 1970. Although the fossils have been referred to in scientific literature since the 1970s, this African dinosaur has never been formally described, and is considered a nomen nudum. The name "Thotobolosaurus" comes from Sesotho South African, Thotobolo for "trash heap", referring to where the fossil remains were found, in 1955 by paleontologist Paul Ellenberger, in the immediate vicinity of a refuse pile a few meters from native huts in the Village of Maphutseng, western Lesotho. The specific name, "T. mabeatae", is named after an elderly woman and local resident of the western Lesotho village of Maphutseng whose name was 'Mabeata (from Sesotho, meaning "Mother of Beata"). Remains of the type fossil were found by the author and party in the immediate vicinity of 'Mabeata's refuse pile, located close by her hut. Mabeatae is a feminine proper name in the Latin genitive case.[citation needed]


"Tonouchisaurus" (meaning "Tonouchi lizard") is the informal name given to an as yet undescribed genus of dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous Period. It was a theropod which lived in what is now Mongolia. The suggested "type species", "Tonouchisaurus mongoliensis", was coined by Barsbold in 1994. It was notably small: less than three feet in length. It may have been a tyrannosaurid, judging by the known skeletal elements, which include only limb bones. These limb bones include "a complete didactyl manus and complete pes, as well as other limb bones" (Olshevsky 1996).[117]





"Wyomingraptor" (meaning 'Wyoming Thief') is the name unofficially ascribed to an allosaurid dinosaur from the Morrison Formation of the Late Jurassic. The few remains unearthed are labeled as Allosaurus in the Tate Museum. Robert Bakker, who discovered the fossils in 1997, has proposed the new name. However, there has been no official description of the remains and the name cannot be used until scientific scrutiny suggests they represent a separate genus. Until such a time, "Wyomingraptor" must remain a nomen nudum.[118]



Skeletal mount of "Xinghesaurus" from a Japanese fossil expo

"Xinghesaurus" was the name given to a species of sauropod dinosaur, possibly a titanosauriform, in 2009, in the guidebook for the dinosaur expo "Miracle of Deserts". No species name was given for the genus.[119][120]



"Yibinosaurus" (meaning "Yibin lizard") is the informal name given to an as yet undescribed genus of herbivorous dinosaur from the Early Jurassic. It was a sauropod which lived in what is now Sichuan, China. The suggested "type species", "Yibinosaurus zhoui", has not been formally described yet, but the formal publication is forthcoming, from Chinese paleontologist Ouyang Hui. "Yibinosaurus" was only briefly mentioned in the Chongqing Natural History Museum guidebook (2001) and is thus a nomen nudum.[121][122]


"Yuanmouraptor" is an informally named genus of carnosaurian dinosaurs which existed in what is now southern China during the Lower Jurassic period. Its fossils were found at Yuanmou County, Yunnan Province. The specimen has been classified under the code ZLJ0115.[123]


"Yunxianosaurus" is the provisional name for a genus of titanosaurian dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of what is now Hubei Province, China. The type species, "Yunxianosaurus hubeinensis", was proposed by Chinese paleontologist Li Zhengqi in 2001. The fossils of "Yunxianosaurus" were found near the Nanyang Prefecture. Li stated that the name "Yunxianosaurus" was a temporary label for ease of description, but that further field work and study of the fossils would be required before the genus could be given an official name.[124][125]

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External links

  • Theropod Database Blog post clarifying sauropod nomina nuda from Zhao (1985)
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