When two or more creatures of similar type, shape, and dietary preference share the same area, at least one of them has generally undergone some kind of evolutionary fiddling to minimize competition. And so it was with Datousaurus, who lived alongside Shunosaurus at Dashanpu, and had been blessed with thirteen elongated neck vertebrae so it could outstretch its neighbour. Unfortunately, the mamenchisaurid Omeisaurus also shared the area, and with its noodle-neck it could outstretch both to feast upon the treetops which, incidently, is where the most tender and flavour-packed leaves reside.
Shunosaurus had the shortest neck of all the sauropods bar one (Brachytrachelopan), but its long and slender jaws with many slim-but-chisel-tipped teeth suggest it didn't pull the shortest straw with regards to dibs on vegetation. Datousaurus had a stupendously heavy skull with deep, robust and powerful jaws, and fewer-but-wider large spoon-shaped teeth which suggests it was relegated to feasting on the toughest, twiggiest, and most tasteless low-lying chow in the forest. Presuming, of course, that it actually owned this powerful plant-processing noggin.
Datousaurus was named in a "note" in 1984 and described as a "pimitive saoropod" (sic) on the strength of two complete-ish skeletons by Dong and Tang who highlighted features such as robust limbs, five-digits on its pes (hands) and manus (feet), forked chevrons, and a pair of nares (nostrils) "in the front of the face". However, what the authors didn't tell us at the time is that its seemingly oversized, deep and boxy Camarasaurus-like skull, with perhaps the most massive jaws of all the sauropod dinosaurs, was found detached and some distance from the body to which it was assigned. Some paleontologists question whether this skull actually belongs to the same specimen, or even the same species.