Yangchuanosaurus

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Yangchuanosaurus
Temporal range: Jurassic
175.6–154 mya
Y. zigongensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Infraorder: Carnosauria
Family: Metriacanthosauridae
Genus: Yangchuanosaurus
Yangchuanosaurus shangyouensis in Hong Kong Science Museum.

Yangchuanosaurus was a genus of theropod dinosaur from the Jurassic of China. It was a fairly typical carnosaur, with a large head, sharp, serrated teeth, and relatively short arms (though not as short as those of Tyrannosaurus). It was the largest predator in its part of the world. Yangchuanosaurus probably preyed on sauropods, such as Mamenchisaurus, or stegosaurs, such as Tuojiangosaurus.

There are two species. Y. zigongensis is from the Middle Jurassic, and Y. shangyouensis is from the Upper Jurassic. Specimens were collected from the Dashanpu Dinosaur Quarry of Zigong, Sichuan.

The Middle Jurassic Y. zigongensis is known from four incomplete specimens. There are two specimens of the Upper Jurassic Y. shangyouensis, which were at first put into separate species. Later analysis showed they were probably different ages or variations of the same species.[1]

The first skull is 82 cm (2.7 ft) long, and its total body length about 8 m (26 ft).[2] The other specimen was even larger. It had a skull length of 1.11 m (3.6 ft).[3] It may have been up to 10.8 m (35.4 ft) long, and weighed as much as 3.4 metric tons (3.7 short tons).[4] There was a bony knob on its nose and multiple hornlets and ridges, similar to Ceratosaurus. It had a massive tail that was about half its length.

References[change | change source]

  1. Carrano M.T; Benson R B.J. & Sampson S.D. 2012. The phylogeny of Tetanurae (Dinosauria: Theropoda). Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 10 (2): 211–300. [1]
  2. Dong, Zhiminget al 1978. A new carnosaur from Yongchuan County, Sichuan Province. Ke Xue Tong Bao 23 (5): 302–04.
  3. Dong, Zhiming; Shiwu, Zhou; Zhang, Yihong 1983. Dinosaurs from the Jurassic of Sichuan. Palaeontologica Sinica, New Series C 162 (23): 1–136.
  4. Paul, Gregory S. 1988. Eustreptospondylids and Metriacanthosaurs. In Predatory Dinosaurs of the World. Simon & Schuster. pp. 286–93. ISBN 0-671-61946-2.