Shunosaurus, Shu Lizard, lived in the Middle Jurassic of China when the eusauropods become the most common medium-to-large plant eaters. Prosauropods were the dominant large herbivores in the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic. Sauropods were rare until the Middle Jurassic but then they replaced the prosauropod grade sauropodomorphs. When found in 1979, Shunosaurus was the first sauropod with a tail club to be discovered.
Shunosaurus tail club had a small club with tipped with two spikes. The legs were long relative to the size of the body. It is an intermediate-sized, primitive sauropod. The neck is short by sauropod standards. Size Length 9 - 14 m (30 - 45 ft.). Weight 1.1 - 4 tons.
It had spatulate teeth and was probably a ground feeder or low-browser feeding on coarse plant material.
History of Discovery
Discovered by Dong, Zhou, and Zhang in 1983. It is known from 20 skeletons with 5 skulls making it one of the best known dinosaurs from the Middle Jurassic.
Found in China in lush forests that supported many sauropods. Based on the fossils, it was the most common dinosaur in the environment. It shared the landscape with the sauropods, Datousaurus and Omeisaurus, the small ornithopod Xiaosaurus, the stegosaur Huayangosaurus, and the theropod Gasosaurus.
Paul, G. (2010). The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs (pp. 4175). Princeton, New Jersey: University Press Princeton
Worth, G. (1999). The Dinosaur Encyclopaedia (pp. 2154). Scarborough, Western Australia: HyperWorks Reference Software.
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