Mamenchisauridae is a family of sauropod dinosaurs known from the Jurassic and Early Cretaceous of Asia and Africa.

Temporal range: Early Jurassic-Early Cretaceous, Pliensbachian–Aptian
Mamench DB
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Sauropodomorpha
Clade: Sauropoda
Clade: Eusauropoda
Family: Mamenchisauridae
Young and Zhao, 1972

Omeisauridae Wilson, 2002


The family Mamenchisauridae was first erected by Chinese paleontologists C.C. Young and Zhao Xijin in 1972, in a paper describing Mamenchisaurus hochuanensis.[2] Other members of Mamenchisauridae include Chuanjiesaurus, Datousaurus, Eomamenchisaurus, Huangshanlong, Hudiesaurus, Qijianglong, Tienshanosaurus, Omeisaurus, Tonganosaurus, Wamweracaudia, Xinjiangtitan, Yuanmousaurus, Zigongosaurus.


Fossils of Mamenchisaurus and Omeisaurus have been found in the Shaximiao Formation, dating to the Oxfordian-Tithonian interval, around 159-150 Ma (million years ago). Chuanjiesaurus fossils date between 166.1-163.5 Ma, while those of Eomamenchisaurus were found in the Zhanghe Formation, believed to be around 175.6-161.2 million years old.[3] Fossils of Tonganosaurus date to even earlier, from the (Pliensbachian) Early Jurassic.[4] The Tendaguru taxon Wamweracaudia extends the geographic distribution of Mamenchisauridae into Africa,[5] while fossil remains from the Itat Formation suggest they also reached Siberia. [6]Additionally, an indeterminate cervical vertebra from the Phu Kradung Formation of Thailand demonstrates survival of Mamenchisauridae into the Cretaceous combined with new radiometric dates for the Suining Formation that has yielded fossils of Mamenchisaurus anyuensis.[7][8]


Long-bone histology enables researchers to estimate the age that a specific individual reached. A study by Griebeler et al. (2013) examined long bone histological data and concluded that the unnamed mamenchisaurid SGP 2006/9 weighed 25,075 kilograms (27.6 short tons), reached sexual maturity at 20 years and died at age 31.[9]


  1. ^ Jian-Dong Huang; Hai-Lu You; Jing-Tao Yang; Xin-Xin Ren (2014). "A new sauropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of Huangshan, Anhui Province" (PDF). Vertebrata PalAsiatica. 52 (4): 390–400.
  2. ^ Young, C.C. and Zhao, X. (1972). "Mamenchisaurus hochuanensis sp. nov.". Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology Monographs Series A 8: 1-30.
  3. ^ Lü, J., Li, T., Zhong, S., Ji, Q., and Li, S. (2008). "A new mamenchisaurid dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of Yuanmou, Yunnan Province, China". Acta Geologica Sinica 82(1) :17-26.
  4. ^ Li, K., Yang, C.-Y., Liu, J. and Wang, Z.-X. (2010). "A new sauropod dinosaur from the Lower Jyrassic of Huili, Sichuan, China." Vertebrata PalAsiatica, (3).
  5. ^ Philip D Mannion, Paul Upchurch, Daniela Schwarz, Oliver Wings; Taxonomic affinities of the putative titanosaurs from the Late Jurassic Tendaguru Formation of Tanzania: phylogenetic and biogeographic implications for eusauropod dinosaur evolution, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, , zly068,
  6. ^ Averianov, Alexander; Krasnolutskii, Sergei; Ivantsov, Stepan; Skutschas, Pavel; Schellhorn, Rico; Schultz, Julia; Martin, Thomas (2019). "Sauropod remains from the Middle Jurassic Itat Formation of West Siberia, Russia". Palz. doi:10.1007/s12542-018-00445-8.
  7. ^ Wang, J.; Norell, M. A.; Pei, R.; Ye, Y.; Chang, S.-C (2019). Surprisingly young age for the mamenchisaurid sauropods in South China. Cretaceous Research. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2019.07.006.
  8. ^ Suteethorn, S., Le Loeuff, J., Buffetaut, E., Suteethorn, V., and Wongko, K. 2013. First evidence of a mamenchisaurid dinosaur from the Upper Jurassic–Lower Cretaceous Phu Kradung Formation of Thailand. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 58 (3): 459–469.
  9. ^ Griebeler EM, Klein N, Sander PM (2013) Aging, Maturation and Growth of Sauropodomorph Dinosaurs as Deduced from Growth Curves Using Long Bone Histological Data: An Assessment of Methodological Constraints and Solutions. PLoS ONE 8(6): e67012. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0067012


  • Currie, Philip J.; Kevin Padian. Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs. p. 122.

Anhuilong is a genus of mamenchisaurid dinosaur found in the Anhui province of China. It contains a single species, Anhuilong diboensis. Ren et al. (2018) recover Anhuilong as the sister taxon of Huangshanlong, with the closest relative to this clade being Omeisaurus tianfuensis.


Chuanjiesaurus is a genus of sauropod dinosaurs from the middle Jurassic Period. They lived in what is now China. The type species, Chuanjiesaurus anaensis, was first described by Fang, Pang, Lü, Zhang, Pan, Wang, Li and Cheng in 2000. Fossils of the species were found in the village of Chuanjie, Lufeng County, Yunnan

Province, (in Chuanjie Formation deposits) and are named after the location where the fossils were discovered.


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.


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.


Eusauropoda (meaning "true sauropods") is a derived clade of sauropod dinosaurs. Eusauropods represent the node-based group that includes all descendant sauropods starting with the basal eusauropods of Shunosaurus, and possibly Barapasaurus, and Amygdalodon, but excluding Vulcanodon and Rhoetosaurus. The Eusauropoda was coined in 1995 by Paul Upchurch to create a monophyletic new taxonomic group that would include all sauropods, except for the vulcanodontids.Eusauropoda are herbivorous, quadrupedal, and have long necks. They have been found in South America, Europe, North America, Asia, Australia, and Africa. The temporal range of Eusauropoda ranges from the early Jurassic to the Latest Cretaceous periods. The most basal forms of eusauropods are not well known and because the cranial material for the Vulcanodon is not available, and the distribution of some of these shared derived traits that distinguish Eusauropoda is still completely clear.


Flagellicaudata is a clade of Dinosauria. It belongs to Sauropoda and includes two families, the Dicraeosauridae and the Diplodocidae.


Gravisauria is a clade of sauropod dinosaurs consisting of some genera, Vulcanodontidae and Eusauropoda.


Huangshanlong is a genus of mamenchisaurid dinosaurs native to the Anhui province of China. It contains a single species, Huangshanlong anhuiensis. H. anhuiensis represents, along with Anhuilong and Wannanosaurus, one of three dinosaurs fround in Anhui province.


Hudiesaurus (meaning "butterfly lizard") is a herbivorous sauropod genus of dinosaur from China.

The fossil remains of Hudiesaurus were in 1993 found by a Chinese-Japanese expedition near Qiketia in Shanshan, Xinjiang province. The type (and only named) species, Hudiesaurus sinojapanorum, was named and described by Dong Zhiming in 1997. The generic name is derived from Mandarin hudie, "butterfly" and refers to a flat butterfly-shaped process on the front base of the vertebral spine. The specific name refers to the members of the expedition but can also be read as "central part" in Chinese, a pun on the Japanese Chunichi Shinbun (again "central part") press group, which financed the research.Hudiesaurus is known from only two incomplete specimens, uncovered in the Kalazha Formation of the Turpan Bassin, which perhaps dates to the late Jurassic Period. The type specimen (IVPP V 11120) is represented only by a very large anterior dorsal vertebra. Another partial skeleton from an apparently smaller individual found about a kilometre away from the holotype, consisting of a nearly complete right front leg and teeth, specimen IVPP P. 11121, has by Dong been referred to this species. Paul Upchurch in 2004 rejected the identity because of a lack of overlapping material.Although the specimens are fragmentary, Hudiesaurus is believed to have been very large, even for sauropods, given the considerable length of the vertebral centrum of fifty-five centimetres. Its body length is estimated at 20–30 m (66–98 ft).Dong thought Hudiesaurus may have been related to Mamenchisaurus and accordingly placed it in the Mamenchisauridae. Upchurch in 2004 limited the precision to a more general Eusauropoda.


Kaijutitan (meaning "Kaiju titan" after the type of Japanese movie monsters) is a genus of basal titanosaur dinosaur from the Sierra Barrosa Formation from Neuquén Province in Argentina. The type and only species is Kaijutitan maui.


Lithostrotia is a clade of derived titanosaur sauropods that lived during the Early Cretaceous and Late Cretaceous. The group was defined by Unchurch et al. in 2004 as the most recent common ancestor of Malawisaurus and Saltasaurus and all the descendants of that ancestor. Lithostrotia is derived from the Ancient Greek lithostros, meaning "inlaid with stones", referring to the fact that many known lithostrotians are preserved with osteoderms. However, osteoderms are not a distinguishing feature of the group, as the two noted by Unchurch et al. include caudal vertebrae with strongly concave front faces (procoely), although the farthest vertebrae are not procoelous.


Omeisaurus (meaning "Omei lizard") is a genus of sauropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic Period (Bathonian-Callovian stage) of what is now China. Its name comes from Mount Emei, where it was discovered in the lower Shaximiao Formation of Sichuan Province.

Like other sauropods, Omeisaurus was herbivorous and large. It measured 20.2 metres (66 ft) long, and weighed 9.8 tonnes.


Qijianglong is a genus of herbivorous mamenchisaurid sauropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of China.


Tienshanosaurus (meaning "Tienshan lizard") is a genus of dinosaur from the Late Jurassic. It was a sauropod which lived in what is now China.


Tonganosaurus (named for the town of Tong'an from where it was found) is a genus of mamenchisaurid sauropod dinosaur, similar to Omeisaurus. It is known from one specimen consisting of twenty vertebrae, a front limb and pectoral girdle, and a complete hind limb with partial hip. It lived during the early Jurassic period (Pliensbachian - Toarcian, Yimen Formation) in what is now China. It was first named by Li Kui, Yang Chun-Yan, Liu Jian and Wang Zheng-Xin in 2010 and the type species is Tonganosaurus hei.


Wamweracaudia is a large herbivorous sauropod dinosaur from the Late Jurassic Tendaguru Formation of Tanzania, Africa, 155 million years ago.


Xinjiangtitan is an extinct genus of mamenchisaurid sauropod known from the Middle Jurassic Qigu Formation in Piqan County of Xinjiang, northwestern China. Estimates of body length for the holotype are approximately 30–32 m (98–105 ft) in length, making Xinjiangtitan one of the longest sauropods known.


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.


Zigongosaurus (meaning "Zigong lizard") is a genus of sauropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic-Late Jurassic-age Shaximiao Formation of Zigong, Sichuan, China. Because of incomplete knowledge of Jurassic Chinese sauropods, it has been hard to interpret, with some sources assigning it to Omeisaurus, some to Mamenchisaurus, and some to its own genus.


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