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JINZHOUSAURUS

a plant-eating hadrosauroid ornithopodan dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of China.
Pronunciation: jeen-joh-SOR-us
Meaning: Jinzhou lizard
Author/s: Wang and Xu (2001)
Synonyms: Non known
First Discovery: Liaoning, China
Chart Position: 416

Jinzhousaurus yangi

The Yixian Formation in the Jehol Biota — the Barremian-Aptian age ecosystem of northeastern China, renowned for its "Lagerstatten" which yields exquisitely preserved fossils — is dominated by small-bodied critters, particularly the pesky Psittacosaurus. In contrast, large-bodied forms are rare, with sauropods being limited to Dongbetitan plus a handful of teeth and as-yet undescribed vertebrae while large theropod remains amount to naught. Jinzhousaurus is the first and until 2012 (when it was joined by Bolong) only "large" ornithischian from this area and the most complete non-hadrosaurid iguanodont from the whole of Asia. But its initial description was brief because most of it was obscured by the stone slab in which it was removed from the ground, so there wasn't much to study.

After a decade, Jinzhousaurus was freed from its matrix, at least on one side — which is no real issue thanks to symmetry — and paleontologists realized they had over-estimated its length by a good two meters. Still, five and a half meters is not to be sniffed at, and it's still the largest of its kind from this area. Plus, this is a prime example of quality being more important than size, and a pair of papers describing its skull and skeleton in detail soon followed.

The profile of Jinzhousaurus is unusually shallow, but that's because it had been squished and mangled by compressive forces during fossilization. Its general features are an odd mix of both basal and derived, or "primitive and advanced", which prompted some paleontologists to speculate that Bolong, Equijubus, Jinzhousaurus, Altirhinus, Batyrosaurus, and Probactrosaurus represent progressive steps in the evolution of Asian hadrosauroids, from least to most advanced, in that order. It stands to reason, then, that all of these critters are bound to share certain features with certain relatives. You just need to be science-savvy to spot subtle differences, especially when you're working with bones that are well over 100 million years old.

Jinzhousaurus shares some similarities with the more advanced Probactrosaurus from the Dashuigou Formation, and the more primitive Bolong from precisely the same area. But it also sports features in common with Belgium's Iguanodon bernissartensis, such as a long and tall snout and large nostrils, though it lacks the antorbital fenestra — an opening in the skull, in front of the eye sockets, and the skull itself is unusually wide at the back with a small crest on top. Its humerus is very long too (67% the length of its femur) though not quite as long as in Iguanodon (77–80% femoral length), and its ulna and radius were robust like those of England's Hypselospinus fittoni (previously Iguanodon fittoni), which are signs that the owner was just as comfortable on four legs as it was on two.
(Yang's Jinzhou lizard)Etymology
Jinzhousaurus is a combination of "Jinzhou" (one of the largest cities in Liaoning and the geographical area which contained this dinosaur's fossil site) and the Greek "sauros" (lizard). The species epithet, yangi (YAHNG-ie), is named to honor Chinese paleontologist Yang Zhongjian—also known as C.C. (Chung Chien) Young—the Godfather of Chinese vertebrate paleontology.
Discovery
The remains of Jinzhousaurus were discovered in the Dakangpu member of the Yixian Formation at Baicaigou, Toutai Town, Jinzhou city (originally known as Tuhe), Yixian County, Liaoning Province, China.
The holotype (IVPP V12691, housed at Beijing's Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology) is an almost complete skeleton and a complete skull.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Early Cretaceous
Stage: Aptian
Age range: 125-122 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 5.5 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 1000 Kg
Diet: Herbivore
References
• Wang Xiao-Lin and Xu Xing (2001) "A new iguanodontid (Jinzhousaurus yangi gen. et sp. nov.) from the Yixian Formation of western Liaoning, China". Chinese Science Bulletin 46(19):1669-1672.
• Barrett PM, Butler RJ, Wang X-L and Xu X (2009) "Cranial Anatomy of the Iguanodontoid Ornithopod Jinzhousaurus yangi from the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation of China". Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 54 (1): 35–48.
• Wang X-L, Rui Pan, Butler RJ, and Barrett PM (2010) "The postcranial skeleton of the iguanodontian ornithopod Jinzhousaurus yangi from the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation of western Liaoning, China". Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 101, 135–159.
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "JINZHOUSAURUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 16th Dec 2017.
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