Dinosaurs: Mamenchisaurus

Dinosaurs: Mamenchisaurus

Mamenchisaurus Profile

Translation: Mamenchi lizard (China)
Description: Herbivore, quadruped
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Sauropodomorpha
Infraorder: Sauropoda
Family: Mamenchisauridae
Height: 10.7 meters
Length: 21 meters; Neck - 11 meters
Weight: 27,216 kg
Period: Jurassic late

The Mamenchisaurus It is a genus of sauropod dinosaur that includes several species, known for their remarkably long necks that reached half the total length of the body.

It is known of numerous species that extended in time between 160 and 145 million years ago, at the end of the Jurassic Period in China. The largest species may have reached 35 meters in length and possibly weighed between 50 and 75 tons.

Mamenchisaurus constructus

The Mamenchisaurus was first discovered in 1952 when the Yitang Highway was being built, in Sichuan, China. The partial skeleton fossil was studied and named Mamenchisaurus constructus in 1954, by the renowned Chinese paleontologist C.C. Young.

The type specimen had an incomplete neck with 14 vertebrae, but none of them were complete.

Mamenchisaurus hochuanensis

In 1972 a second species called Mamenchisaurus hochuanensis, which had a neck that reached 9.3 meters in length, a fact that could be extracted thanks to the fact that a very well preserved and complete neck was found that contained 19 vertebrae.

This was the longest-necked dinosaur known to the Supersaurus description, based on a vertebra in his neck, it is estimated that he measured approximately 14 meters. Another long-necked sauropod that outperforms Mamenchisaurus hochuanensis is the Sauroposeidon, which was discovered in 1994 and which it is estimated that his neck measured between 11 and 12 meters long.

In 2001, it was discovered another specimen of this dinosaur with all the material that its holotype was missing. The skull, the pectoral girdle and its forelimbs were found, all very well preserved.

Four fused tail vertebrae were also found, with expanded neural arches and higher neural spines, which belong to the tip of the tail. It is believed that it could have been used as a weapon or as a sensory organ.

Other studies have determined that members of this genus, as well as other Chinese sauropods of this time such as the Euhelopus, share enough unique characteristics to constitute a sauropod family Euhelopodidae separate.

Images: Shutterstock

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