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Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Sauropodomorpha
Family: Melanorosauridae
Genus: Camelotia
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The Camelotia was a dinosaur that lived in the late Triassic period. It existed about 205 to 195 million years ago. It was one of the largest dinosaurs of sub order Sauropodomorpha and also one the biggest dinosaurs of the Triassic period. Present day England is the location where the Camelotia lived.
The Camelotia was herbivorous and clearly terrestrial. It is estimated to have been 30 to 35 feet in length. The weight of the Camelotia is expected to be a monstrous 1.5 to 2 tons. Most of the dinosaurs of sub order Sauropodomorpha grew to such massive sizes. Like other sauropods, the Camelotia had a long neck, a long and stout tail and walked on four legs. It most likely was able to support itself on its hind legs for grazing on tall vegetation. Its exact height is unknown.
There is no unanimity about the exact classification of the Camelotia. Many scientists believe it belonged to infra-order sauropoda due to its size. Others believe that it could be the ancestor of the sauropods, belonging to infra-order prosauropoda.

The name Camelotia is derived from the castle of Camelot, which was the seat of the fabled King Arthur. The suffix indicates ‘from Camelot’. The exact location of the mythical castle of Camelot is unknown, which was probably the reasoning behind naming the remains ‘Camelotia’; the exact classification of the fossils remains elusive.
The species name Camelotia borealis may be derived from the ’boreal’ which stands for the Boreal climatic events or ‘borealis’ which means northern.

Discovery of fossils
The fossils of the Camelotia were originally discovered in Wedmore Hill, Somerset, England. The region where they were found is called The Westbury formation and comprises predominantly of limestone. The fossils of the Avalonianus and the Gressylosaurus were later found out to belong to the Camelotia.

Types of bones attributed to the Camelotia
The fossils of the Camelotia consist of a few vertebrae, parts of the pelvic girdle (ischium and pubis), parts of the hind legs (femur and tibia), teeth and also some phalanges.
Some of these bones were initially thought to belong to the Avalonius, but later were incorporated with those of the Camelotia.

The Westbury Formation
The Westbury Formation is a geological rock formation present in England. It extends from Somerset to South Gloucester. It is comprised of sedimentary rocks.
The structure is roughly divided into two sections, the Pernath group and the Merica-Mudstone group.

  • The Pernath group:

This segment has fossils from the Rhaetian age of the Triassic period of the Mesozoic era. It consists chiefly of limestone and sandstone. This is the region where the remains of the Camelotia were discovered.

  • The Merica-Mudstone group:

This segment contains fossils from the Norian age of the Triassic period. It is further classified into the Blue Anchor formation and the Twyning mudstone formation. These segments consist of grey and brown colored stones respectively.
The Westbury Formation is a richly endowed with fossils of many different types of organisms from the Triassic as well as Jurassic period.

The classification of the Camelotia is still a matter of debate. In fact some fossil pieces were only recently added to those of the Camelotia, namely those belonging to the Avalonianus and the Gressylosaurus.

  • Avalonianus:

The fossils of teeth belonging to the late Triassic period were discovered in England in the nineteenth century. These were presumed to belong to clade prosauropoda and were named ‘Avalonia’ by paleontologist Seeley in 1898.
But the name ‘Avalonia’ was already credited to a trilobite and hence it was later re-christened ‘Avalonianus’. The remains of the Avalonianus, on re-examination, were found to be non-sauropod and were eventually grouped with the Camelotia.

  • Gressylosaurus:

It is a synonym of the Plateosaurus. The remains today ascribed to the Plateosaurus were named Gressylosaurus in the nineteenth century. Many of these remains were later added to those of the Camelotia.
The Camelotia and the Plateosaurus are thought to be very closely related.
Peter Galton in 1985 succeeded in bringing about some semblance of order within these remains. He christened the re-named the group of remains as Camelotia. He refrained from further classifying the fossils as their characteristics were ambiguous.

  • The confounding features of the fossils:

The femur of the Camelotia has both sauropod and prosauropod character. The trochanter minor has prosauropod characteristics; while the presence of the fourth trochanter is a sauropod feature.
The distal part of the Camelotia femur is straight from a side-wise view, which is a character of sauropods. Prosauropods have this part bent slightly at an angle. This questions the Melanorosauridae family of the Camelotia, as believed by many scientists.
Thus it is still unclear whether the Camelotia was a true sauropod or a large prosauropod.

Peter Galton
Peter Galton, born in 1942, is a British paleontologist. His areas of interest are ornithischian dinosaurs and prosauropod dinosaurs.
Galton was instrumental in re-organizing the confusion among the fossils of the Camelotia. He has also published many papers re-classifying other dinosaur remains and fossils. He currently works in America.

Related and co-exiting species
As the Camelotia has both sauropod and prosauropod characters, many species of dinosaurs are thought to be closely related to it.
The Plateosaurus is considered a cousin of the Camelotia. The South African dinosaur, Melanorosaurus is also presumed to be closely related to the Camelotia. Prosauropods may be physically different from the Camelotia, but they could possibly be related.
The Camelotia may have coexisted with the Thecodontosaurus, Plateosaurus, Sellosaurus, Halticosaurus, Paleosauriscus and many more.

Concluding notes about the Camelotia
The Camelotia does not perfectly fit into either the sauropod or prosauropod group. It has characteristics of both. Phenotypically, the Camelotia resembles sauropods. It was very large in size and was herbivorous. Most prosauropods were much smaller. However, many features of its thigh bones are comparable to those of prosauropods.
Many paleontologists believe that the Camelotia could be an intermediate link between both the above mentioned groups. Such intermediate species are very commonly seen in the course of evolution.
However, such premises are merely conjectures. Currently available evidence is inadequate to further classify the remains. Consensus for classification exists only till the sub-order Sauropodomorpha.