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CHUNGKINGOSAURUS

a plant-eating stegosaurid dinosaur from the Late Jurassic of China.
Pronunciation: CHUNG-CHIN-go-SOR-us
Meaning: Chongqing Lizard
Author/s: Dong, Zhou and Zhang (1983)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Chongqing, China
Chart Position: 242

Chungkingosaurus jiangbeiensis

It seems 1977 was the Chinese year of the Stegosaur with many a "roof lizard" being un-earthed. However, Chungkingosaurus was the smallest of these, and could well be the smallest ever from anywhere, especially since India's "dwarf stegosaur" Dravidosaurus turned out to be a sea-dwelling plesiosaur.

Despite its modest size, Chungkingosaurus was well-stacked. Its skull was relatively deep for a stegosaurid, and its lower jaw was robust with small, tightly packed, weakly-enamelled teeth. Its most distinguishing feature is its armour plates which were tall, thick and pointed, but tallest over its hips, and it may have had four pairs of spikes on its thagomizer (if a specimen which has been assigned here actually belongs here) which would have made all the difference in the Jurassic of Chongqing.

Chungkingosaurus shared its time and place with fellow stegosaurids Tuojiangosaurus and Chialingosaurus, and the sauropods Mamenchisaurus and Omeisaurus, and being the smallest of the lot it was probably singled out by the area's apex predator Yangchuanosaurus as an easy meal.
(Chungking lizard from Jiangbei)Etymology
Chungkingosaurus is derived from "Chungking" (the Wade-Giles Romanized version of Chongqing, for postal purposes) and the Greek "sauros" (lizard). The species epithet, jiangbeiensis, means "from Jiangbei District" in Latin.
Discovery
The first fossils of Chungkingosaurus were discovered in the Upper Shaximiao Formation at Maoershi in the Jiangbei District of Chongqing (Chungking), Sichuan Province, China, in 1977. The holotype (CV 00206) is a partial skull, ten vertebrae from it back, twenty three from its tail and five from its hip, both thighs and shins, a partial but straight, slender and long humerus, three toes and five armour plates.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Jurassic
Stage: Oxfordian
Age range: 161-156 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 4 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 450 Kg
Diet: Herbivore
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Ornithischia
Thyreophora
Stegosauria
Stegosauridae
Chungkingosaurus
jiangbeiensis
Other Species
Three other specimens have been assigned to Chungkingosaurus, the first two of which are from the same area as the holotype, but they weren't assigned their own specific names, mainly because their remains are fragmentary... and they probably represent the same species.
Chungkingosaurus sp. 1 (CV00207) from the Upper Shaximiao Formation at Ouling Public Park in Chungking, was almost five meters long and had one less fused hip vertebrae than Chungkingosaurus jiangbeiensis.
Chungkingosaurus sp. 2 (CV00205) from the Upper Shaximiao Formation at Huayibo, central Chungking, was over five meters long and had a slightly higher thigh-to-upper arm ratio than the former two specimens.
Chungkingosaurus sp. 3. (CV00208) from the Upper Shaximiao Formation at Longshi, Hechuan County, Sichuan, is one of the rare instances of a stegosaur being discovered with tail spikes still attached to its tail. There were four pairs originally, though one pair was lost due to weathering according to Yihong Zhang who excavated the remains, and the base of each pair spanned three vertebrae.
References
• Zhiming Dong (1983) "Dinosaurs from the Jurassic of Sichuan".
• Peter M. Galton and Paul Upchurch (2004) Chapter 16: "Stegosauria" in Weishampel, Dodson and Osmólska "The Dinosauria: Second Edition".
• G.S. Paul (2010) "The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs". (Page 221.)
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "CHUNGKINGOSAURUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 19th Aug 2017.
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