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Shantungosaurus facts for kids

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Shantungosaurus
Temporal range: Late Cretaceous, Middle to Late Campanian
Restored skeletons
Scientific classification
Genus: Shantungosaurus
Species: giganteus
Synonyms
  • Zhuchengosaurus maximus Zhao et al., 2007
  • Huaxiaosaurus aigahtens Zhao et al., 2011
Shantungosaurus-v4
Artist's restoration
Largestornithopods scale
Shantungosaurus (blue) compared with other giant ornithopods

Shantungosaurus, meaning "Shandong Lizard", is a genus of hadrosaurid dinosaurs found in the Upper Cretaceous Wangshi Formation of the Shandong Peninsula in China.

Description

It is one of the longest and largest known hadrosaurids. The composite skeleton of a medium-sized individual mounted at the Geological Institute of China in Beijing measures 14.72 metres (48.3 ft) in length, and the type skull is 1.63 metres (5.3 ft) long. The weight of this genus is estimated at up to 16 tonnes (18 short tons). With a composite mounted skeleton 16.6 meters long (54.5 ft) it is the largest known ornithischian and the largest non-sauropod dinosaur.

It had an unusually long tail, presumably to counterbalance the great weight of the body at the animal's hips.

Like all hadrosaurs its beak was toothless, but its jaws were packed with around 1,500 tiny chewing teeth. A large hole near its nostrils may have been covered by a loose flap, which could be inflated to make sounds.

First described in 1973, Shantungosaurus is known from over five incomplete skeletons.


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