Datousaurus

Datousaurus, meaning "Big-head Lizard" (from the Chinese da tou "Big Head" and Greek sauros/σαυρος "lizard") was a dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic. It was a sauropod collected from the Lower Shaximiao Formation in Dashanpu, Zigong Sichuan province, China. It shared the local Middle Jurassic landscape with other sauropods such as Shunosaurus, Omeisaurus, Protognathosaurus, the ornithopod Xiaosaurus, the early stegosaur Huayangosaurus as well as the carnivorous Gasosaurus.

Datousaurus
Temporal range: Middle Jurassic
Datousaurus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Sauropodomorpha
Clade: Sauropoda
Family: Mamenchisauridae
Genus: Datousaurus
Dong & Tang, 1984
Species:
D. bashanensis
Binomial name
Datousaurus bashanensis
Dong & Tang, 1984

Discovery and species

Zigong Dinosaur Museum Datousaurus
Jaws and teeth

Datousaurus was named by Dong Zhiming and Tang in 1984. To date, only two partial skeletons have been discovered. Neither had an articulated skull, although one skull has been discovered that has been attributed to the genus.[1]

D. bashanensis is the only established species.

Paleobiology

Datousaurus was about 15 metres long and herbivorous.[1] It had a deep large skull for a sauropod.[1] The rarity of its fossils suggest that it may not have been as social as other sauropods, which are often preserved in large numbers in a single deposit.[1]

Datousaurus and Shunosaurus

Datousaurus and Shunosaurus were both closely related animals with similar anatomies.[1] However, Datousaurus's elongated vertebrae gave it a higher reach and its teeth were more spoon shaped.[1] This may be a sign that these contemporaries fed on different plants and/or at different heights in the trees.[1] This strategy may have reduced competition between the two genera.[1] A similar pattern of height difference possibly associated with feeding behaviors is found in the diplodocids.[1]

References

  • Creisler B, 'Chinese Dinosaurs:Naming The Dragons' The Dinosaur Report, Fall 1994, pp16–17
  • Dong Zhiming (1992). Dinosaurian Faunas of China. China Ocean Press, Beijing. ISBN 3-540-52084-8.
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Datousaurus." In: Dodson, Peter & Britt, Brooks & Carpenter, Kenneth & Forster, Catherine A. & Gillette, David D. & Norell, Mark A. & Olshevsky, George & Parrish, J. Michael & Weishampel, David B. The Age of Dinosaurs. Publications International, LTD. p. 68. ISBN 0-7853-0443-6.
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Dong Zhiming

Dong Zhiming (Chinese: 董枝明, Pinyin: Dǒng Zhimíng; born January 1937), of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) in Beijing, is a Chinese vertebrate paleontologist. He began working at the IVPP in 1962, studying under Yang Zhongjian, who was director at the time. He has described fossil remains of many dinosaurs, including sauropods such as Shunosaurus, Datousaurus and Omeisaurus, as well as Archaeoceratops. He investigated and described the Dashanpu Formations; an important contribution to science since they are composed of Middle Jurassic beds which do not commonly yield fossils.

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