Lü Junchang

Lü Junchang (Chinese: 吕君昌; 1965 – 9 October 2018) was a Chinese palaeontologist and professor at the Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences. An expert on Mesozoic reptiles, he described and named many dinosaur and pterosaur taxa including Tongtianlong, Qianzhousaurus, Heyuannia, Gannansaurus, Yunnanosaurus youngi, and Darwinopterus.


Lü was born in 1965. He graduated from Lanzhou University in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in geology. He studied at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences from 1997 to 2000 and earned his master's degree. He subsequently went to the United States to study at the Department of Earth Sciences at the Southern Methodist University, earning his Ph.D. in 2004.[1]

Lü began working for the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences in July 2004, initially as a postdoctoral researcher, then as associate professor and eventually as professor and doctoral advisor.[1]

An expert on Mesozoic reptiles such as dinosaurs and pterosaurs, Lü conducted field research and excavation in more than ten Chinese provinces including Liaoning, Henan, and Xinjiang, as well as foreign countries such as Canada, the United States, Britain, Mongolia, South Korea, and Japan.[1] He participated in many international cooperation projects including the Sino-Canadian Dinosaur Project of 1999, Sino-Japanese Silk Road Dinosaur Survey in 1992–1993, the Sino-Japanese-Mongolian Gobi Desert Dinosaur Survey (1995–1998), and the South Korea–Mongolia Plateau Dinosaur Survey (2006, 2008, and 2010).[1]

Partly because of years of overwork, Lü suffered from diabetes.[2] On 9 October 2018, he died suddenly in Beijing, at the age of 53.[1]

Major discoveries

Darwinopterus NT
Restoration of a crested Darwinopterus modularis

In 2002, Lü Junchang identified and named a genus of oviraptorid dinosaur, Heyuannia.[3][2] For his contributions to dinosaur research in Heyuan, Guangdong, he was named the honorary director of Heyuan Museum and an honorary citizen of Heyuan.[2]

In 2007, he described a second species of Yunnanosaurus, and named it Yunnanosaurus youngi, after Yang Zhongjian (C. C. Young), the discoverer of the genus.[4]

In 2009, Lü, and his colleagues first described the new pterosaur genus Darwinopterus, and identified a nearly complete fossil of a pregnant Darwinopterus with an egg, which they named "Mrs. T".[5]

In 2014, Lü Junchang, Stephen L. Brusatte et al. discovered Qianzhousaurus, a new genus of tyrannosaur with long snouts, which they nicknamed "Pinocchio rex".[6]

In 2016, Lü and his team described and named the new dinosaur genus Tongtianlong in Ganzhou, Jiangxi, China, in the Nanxiong Formation.[1][7]

See also

  • Category:Taxa named by Lü Junchang


  1. ^ a b c d e f Jiang Ziwen 蒋子文 (2018-10-10). "53岁恐龙专家、中国地质科学院地质研究所研究员吕君昌逝世". The Paper. Archived from the original on 2018-10-14. Retrieved 2018-10-14.
  2. ^ a b c Zeng Huanyang 曾焕阳 (2018-10-13). "他随"河源龙"远去". Guangzhou Daily. Retrieved 2018-10-18.
  3. ^ Lü, Junchang (2003). "A New Oviraptorosaurid (Theropoda: Oviraptorosauria) from the Late Cretaceous of Southern China". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 22 (4): 871–875. JSTOR 4524287.
  4. ^ Pim, Keiron (2013). Bumper Book of Dinosaurs. Random House. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-4464-7719-9.
  5. ^ Reardon, Sara (2011-01-20). "Mama Pterosaur Discovered in China". Science. Archived from the original on 2018-10-14. Retrieved 2018-10-14.
  6. ^ Witze, Alexandra (2014-05-07). "Long-Snouted Tyrannosaur Unearthed". Scientific American. Archived from the original on 2018-10-18. Retrieved 2018-10-18.
  7. ^ Lü, Junchang; Chen, Rongjun; Brusatte, Stephen L.; Zhu, Yangxiao; Shen, Caizhi (2016-11-10). "A Late Cretaceous diversification of Asian oviraptorid dinosaurs: evidence from a new species preserved in an unusual posture". Scientific Reports. 6 (1): 35780. doi:10.1038/srep35780. ISSN 2045-2322. PMC 5103654. PMID 27831542. Archived from the original on 2017-09-30. Retrieved 2018-10-14.

Baotianmansaurus is a genus of titanosaur sauropod dinosaur. Its fossils have been found in Upper Cretaceous rocks in Henan, China, within the Gaogou Formation. The type species is B. henanensis, described in 2009. Holotype number is this single specimen is 41H III-0200. Remains of the fossil where vertebrae, ribs and fragment of scapula. It was probably a close relative of Opisthocoelicaudia and Dongyangosaurus in Saltasauridae.


Chuxiongosaurus is a genus of basal sauropodomorph dinosaur which lived during the Early Jurassic Period. Fossils of this genus have been found in the Lower Lufeng Formation, Yunnan Province, southern China. Identified from the holotype CMY LT9401 a nearly complete skull (including a lower jaw) with some similarities to Thecodontosaurus, it was described as the "first basal sauropod dinosaur from the Early Jurassic of China," more basal than Anchisaurus. It was named by Lü Junchang, Yoshitsugu Kobayashi, Li Tianguang and Zhong Shimin in 2010, and the type species is Chuxiongosaurus lufengensis.


Dongyangosaurus is a genus of saltasaurid sauropod dinosaur from the early Late Cretaceous. The only species is Dongyangosaurus sinensis, from which only a single fragmentary skeleton is known, coming from the Zhejiang province of eastern China. It was described and named by Lü Junchang and colleagues Like other sauropods, Dongyangosaurus would have been a large quadrupedal herbivore.


Eomamenchisaurus (meaning "dawn Mamenchisaurus") is a genus of mamenchisaurid sauropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of Yuanmou, Yunnan, China. The type species is E. yuanmouensis, described by Lü Junchang et al. in 2008.


Fenghuangopterus is a genus of basal pterosaur that lived in northeastern China during the Middle Jurassic.

The type species Fenghuangopterus lii was in 2010 described and named by Lü Junchang et al. The generic name is derived from the Fenghuang Mountain and a Latinised Ancient Greek pteron, "wing". The specific name honours Li Xiumei, who donated the fossil. It is known from a single relatively complete, though badly crushed, fossil skeleton, holotype CYGB-0037, recovered from the Tiaojishan Formation of Liaoning Province, about 160 million years old. It is a member of the rhamphorhynchid subfamily Scaphognathinae, which had previously been known only from the Late Jurassic and includes the close relatives Scaphognathus, Sordes and Harpactognathus.


Gannansaurus is an extinct genus of somphospondylan sauropod dinosaur known from the late Late Cretaceous Nanxiong Formation of Ganzhou Basin, Jiangxi Province of southern China. It is known from specimen GMNH F10001 which consists of a single, nearly complete dorsal vertebra and a mid-caudal vertebra. Gannansaurus was first named by Lü Junchang, Yi Laiping, Zhong Hui and Wei Xuefang in 2013 and the type species is Gannansaurus sinensis. Gannansaurus shares some characters with Euhelopus, indicating that it is more closely related to it rather than to other titanosauriforms.


Gongpoquansaurus (meaning "Gongpoquan reptile") is an extinct genus of basal hadrosauroid dinosaur that was not formally named until 2014, while the name was a nomen nudum for many years previously. It is known from IVPP V.11333, a partial skull and postcranial skeleton. It was collected in 1992 at locality IVPP 9208–21, from the Barremian Zhonggou Formation (Xinminpu Group), in Mazongshan, Gansu Province, China. The specimen was first described and named by Lü Junchang in 1997 as the third species of Probactrosaurus, Probactrosaurus mazongshanensis. Following its description, several studies found it to be less derived than the type species of Probactrosaurus in relation to Hadrosauridae. Therefore, "Gongpoquansaurus" had been suggested, yet informally, as a replacement generic name. In 2014, the species was formally redescribed, and the describers erected Gongpoquansaurus.


Heyuannia ("from Heyuan") is a genus of oviraptorid dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous Period in China. It was the first oviraptorid found in that country; most others were found in neighbouring Mongolia. Two species are known: H. huangi, named by Lü Junchang in 2002; and H. yanshini, originally named as a separate genus Ingenia by Rinchen Barsbold in 1981 (and renamed to Ajancingenia in 2013 due to the preoccupation of Ingenia).


Huanansaurus is an extinct genus of oviraptorid dinosaur that lived approximately 72 million years ago, between the Campanian and Maastrichtian, during the latter part of the Cretaceous period in what is now China, in the Nanxiong Formation.


Jianchangopterus is a genus of scaphognathine rhamphorhynchid pterosaur from the Middle Jurassic of western Liaoning, China. Jianchangopterus is known from a nearly complete skeleton with skull preserved. It was collected from the Tiaojishan Formation. It was first named (after Jianchang County) by Lü Junchang and Bo Xue in 2011 and the type species is Jianchangopterus zhaoianus.


Nanyangosaurus is a genus of herbivorous ornithischian dinosaur belonging to Hadrosauroidea that lived in the Late Cretaceous of present-day Henan Province, China.

In 1994 the remains of Nanyangosaurus were found near the village of Houzhuang, in Neixiang county in Henan. The type species, Nanyangosaurus zhugeii, was described by Xu Xing, Zhao Xijin, Lü Junchang, Huang Wanbo, Li Zhanyang and Dong Zhiming in 2000. The generic name is derived from the city of Nanyang. The specific name honours one of the most famous historic inhabitants of that city, the legendary strategist Zhuge Liang.The specimen, holotype IVPP V 11821, was excavated in the Xiaguan Formation dating to the Turonian-Campanian stages. It consists of a partial skeleton lacking the skull. Eight posterior dorsal vertebrae, a sacrum of six vertebrae and a tail of thirty-six vertebrae have been preserved, together with a partial ischium, a forelimb and a hindlimb. The describers considered Nanyangosaurus to be of Albian age because of its primitiveness, but the type horizon is now believed to be Turonian-Campanian in age based on plant and invertebrate fossils.Nanyangosaurus was a rather small euornithpod with an estimated length of four to five metres. The length of the femur is 517 millimetres. The forelimbs were relatively long with a long hand. The first digit of the hand was completely absent including the first metacarpal; according to the describers this was not an accident of preservation but the actual condition of the living animal. The species would then not have possessed the thumb spike typical of its relatives.

According to a cladistic analysis performed by the describers, Nanyangosaurus was a basal member of the Iguanodontia, more derived than Probactrosaurus and closely related to the Hadrosauroidea.


Orientognathus is a genus of rhamphorhynchid pterosaur from the Middle Jurassic of China. It is known from a single specimen which includes most of the skeleton and skull, and was first named and described in 2015 by Lü Junchang et al.. The taxon was found in the Tuchengzi Formation of China, which is slightly younger than the Tiaojishan Formation that most other Middle Jurassic pterosaurs from the region have been found in. The description study produced a phylogenetic analysis, which determined that Orientognathus was a basal member of Rhamphorhynchidae, possibly within Rhamphorhynchinae.


Qinglongopterus is a genus of rhamphorhynchine rhamphorhynchid pterosaur from the Middle/Upper Jurassic of Mutoudeng, Qinglong County, Hebei Province, China. Qinglongopterus is known from only one specimen collected from the Tiaojishan Formation, a skeleton with a skull. It was first named by Lü Junchang et al. in 2012 and the type species is Qinglongopterus guoi.


Qiupalong is a genus of extinct ornithomimid theropods from the Late Cretaceous of what is now China and Canada.

The type specimen, holotype HGM 41HIII-0106, preserves partial hips and hindlimbs, and was named and described in 2011. The team describing it, Xu et al., found it to represent a new taxon, which they gave the binomial Qiupalong henanensis. The genus name comes from the Qiupa Formation, where the specimen comes from, and the Chinese word long, meaning "dragon". The specific epithet is derived from the taxon's occurrence in the Henan Province. Qiupalong is from the late Late Cretaceous, based on the age of the Qiupa Formation. Qiupalong is the first definitive Asian ornithomimid from outside of the Gobi Desert and is the southern-most occurrence of Late Cretaceous Ornithomimidae from eastern Asia. Additional specimens, which include vertebrae, forelimbs, hips, hindlimbs, were later described in 2017 from the Belly River Group of Alberta, Canada. They were referred to Qiupalong sp., given that they occurred up to 10 million years before the type material of Qiupalong. These finds suggest that Qiupalong radiated to Asia from Canada.


Ruyangosaurus (Ruyang County lizard) is a genus of titanosauriform sauropod dinosaur recovered from the Early Cretaceous Haoling Formation of China. The type species is R. giganteus, described in 2009 by Lü Junchang et al. Along with Huanghetitan and Daxiatitan, Ruyangosaurus is among the largest dinosaurs discovered in Cretaceous Asia.


Yuanmousaurus ("Yuanmou lizard") was a sauropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic period of China. It is known from incomplete remains, recovered in 2000 from the Zhanghe Formation in Yuanmou County in Yunnan Province. Yuanmousaurus was a relatively large sauropod and may have reached about 17 meters (56 ft) in length. It was a basal member of the Sauropoda, but its exact systematic position is unclear. A recent study placed Yuanmousaurus within the family Mamenchisauridae. The only and type species was Yuanmousaurus jiangyiensis.


Yunmenglong is an extinct genus of somphospondylan sauropod known from the late Early Cretaceous of Henan Province, central China. Its remains were discovered in the Haoling Formation of the Ruyang Basin. The type species is Yunmenglong ruyangensis, described in 2013 by Junchang Lü et al. on the basis of an incomplete postcranial skeleton. Yunmenglong shares some characters with Euhelopus, Qiaowanlong and Erketu, and a phylogenetic analysis places it as a sister taxon of Qiaowanlong, both grouped with Erketu in a position more derived than Euhelopus but basal to Titanosauria. Yunmenglong represents the first long-necked sauropod dinosaur recorded from central China to date.


Zhejiangosaurus (meaning "Zhejiang lizard") is an extinct genus of nodosaurid dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian stage) of Zhejiang, eastern China. It was first named by a group of Chinese authors Lü Junchang, Jin Xingsheng, Sheng Yiming and Li Yihong in 2007 and the type species is Zhejiangosaurus lishuiensis ("from Lishui", where the fossil was found). It has no diagnostic features, and thus is a nomen dubium.


Zhongyuansaurus is an extinct genus of ankylosaurid ankylosaurian dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of Ruyang, Henan, China. It is known from remains including skull, arm, pelvic, and tail bones. It is distinguished by characteristics such as a flat roof to the skull, a straight ischium, and the location of muscle attachments on the upper arm. The type species, Z. luoyangensis, was described by Xu and colleagues in 2007. Zhongyuansaurus was described by Xu et al. as the first Chinese nodosaurid based primarily upon the absence of a tail club and its elongate skull, but was reevaluated in 2008 by Kenneth Carpenter and colleagues as a shamosaurine ankylosaurid, a type of ankylosaurid lacking a tail club. A new cladistic analysis performed by Thompson et al., 2011 suggests that Zhongyuansaurus is the basalmost known ankylosaurine and thus it is the first species of this clade known to lack a tail club. In 2014, Victoria Megan Arbour concluded that Zhongyuansaurus was a probable junior synonym of Gobisaurus.

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