Shantungosaurus

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Shantungosaurus
Temporal range: Upper Cretaceous, 70 mya
Mounted skeleton, Shandong Tianyu Museum of Nature
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Ornithischia
Suborder: Ornithopoda
Family: Hadrosauridae
Genus: Shantungosaurus
Artist's restoration
Shantungosaurus (blue) compared with other giant ornithopods

Shantungosaurus, meaning "Shandong Lizard", is a genus of hadrosaurid dinosaurs found in the Upper Cretaceous Wangshi Formation of the Shandong Peninsula in China.

Description[change | change source]

It is one of the longest and largest known hadrosaurids. The composite skeleton of a medium-sized individual mounted at the Geological Institute of China in Beijing measures 14.72 metres (48.3 ft) in length,[1] and the type skull is 1.63 metres (5.3 ft) long.[2] The weight of this genus is estimated at up to 16 tonnes (18 short tons).[3] With a composite mounted skeleton 16.6 meters long (54.5 ft) it is the largest known ornithischian and the largest non-sauropod dinosaur.[4]

It had an unusually long tail, presumably to counterbalance the great weight of the body at the animal's hips.[5]

Like all hadrosaurs its beak was toothless, but its jaws were packed with around 1,500 tiny chewing teeth. A large hole near its nostrils may have been covered by a loose flap, which could be inflated to make sounds.

First described in 1973, Shantungosaurus is known from over five incomplete skeletons.

References[change | change source]

  1. Glut, Donald F. (1997). "Shantungosaurus". Dinosaurs: the encyclopedia. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co. pp. 816–817. ISBN 0-89950-917-7.
  2. Hu Chengzhi et al. (2001) (in Chinese). Shantungosaurus giganteus. Beijing: Geological Publishing House. pp. 123–135 [English abstract]. ISBN 7-116-03472-2.
  3. Horner, John R. et al. (2004). "Hadrosauridae". In Weishampel, David B.; Dodson, Peter; and Osmólska, Halszka (eds). The Dinosauria (2nd ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 438–463. ISBN 0-520-24209-2.
  4. Zhao, X. et al. (2007). "Zhuchengosaurus maximus from Shandong Province". Acta Geoscientia Sinica 28 (2): 111–122. doi:10.1007/s10114-005-0808-x.
  5. Palmer D., ed. (1999). The Marshall illustrated encyclopedia of dinosaurs and prehistoric animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 148. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.