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NANSHIUNGOSAURUS

a plant-eating therizinosaurid theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of China.
Pronunciation: nan-SHUN-go-SOR-us
Meaning: Nanshiung lizard
Author/s: Dong (1979)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Guangdong, China
Chart Position: 216

Nanshiungosaurus brevispinus

Nanshiungosaurus brevispinus, discovered in China's Late Cretaceous Nanxiong Formation at Guangdong, is one of those freaky vegetarian theropods known as therizinosaurids. At least, we think it is. The trademark therizinosaurid scythe-like claws and pot belly are merely assumptions because nothing of the ribs or limbs (or skull or tail) have been found, so analysis has focused solely on its vertebrae and an extremely wide pelvis—the reason why Chinese paleontologist Dong Zhiming originally thought its fossils belonged to a weird titanosaurian sauropod.

A second species—Nanshiungosaurus bohlini, named in 1997 by Dong and You for Swedish paleontologist Dr. Birger Bohlin who found its remains—was discovered in the Xinminbao Group at Mazongshan, Gansu Province, China, during the Sino-Japanese Silk Road dinosaur expedition in 1992. The holotype (IVPP V.11116.) consists of eleven cervical (neck) vertebrae with fused ribs and five dorsal (back) vertebrae with weight-saving hollows (pleurocoels) which are not present in the vertebrae of Nanshiungosaurus brevispinus. It may, in fact, be a distinct critter worthy of its own name.
(Short-spined Nanshiung lizard)Etymology
Nanshiungosaurus is derived from "Nanshiung" (the Latinised form of Nanxiong, where it was discovered) and the Greek "sauros" (lizard). The species epithet, brevispinus, is derived from the Latin "brevis" (short) and "spina" (thorn), in reference to the short spines on its vertebrae.
Discovery
The first remains of Nanshiungosaurus were discovered in the Nanxiong Formation, Dapingcun, Guangdong, China.
The holotype (NIGP V.4731) consists of eleven cervical (neck), ten dorsal (back) and five sacral (hip) vertebrae, and a "wide-load" pelvis.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Cretaceous
Stage: Maastrichtian
Age range: 71-66 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 4.4 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 700 Kg
Diet: Herbivore
References
• Dong Z (1979) "Dinosaurs from the Cretaceous of South China". "Mesozoic and Cenozoic Red Beds of South China: Selected Papers from the "Cretaceous-Tertiary Workshop". Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology & Nanjing Institute of Paleontology. Nanxiong, China: Science Press. Page 342-350.
• Dong Z and You HL (1997) "A new segnosaur from Mazongshan area, Gansu Province, China". Sino-Japanese Silk Road Dinosaur Expedition. Beijing: China Ocean Press. Page 90-95.
• Paul GS (2010) "The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "NANSHIUNGOSAURUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 11th Dec 2017.
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