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FULENGIA

a plant-eating sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Early Jurassic of China.
Pronunciation: foo-LEN-jee-uh
Meaning: Anagram of Lufeng
Author/s: Carroll and Galton (1977)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Yunnan, China
Chart Position: 201

Fulengia youngi

Fulengia was originally catalogued as a juvenile specimen of Yunnanosaurus huangi by Simmons in 1965,|1| but twelve years later Carroll and Galton reclassified it as a lizard and craftily re-organised the letters of Lufeng, the rock Formation in which it was discovered, into an anagram that formed the basis of its new name.|2|

Until this point, the oldest known "true" lizards were from the Late Jurassic of America, Europe and China, but Fulengia would push their earliest record way back into the Late Triassic, provided it was actually a true lizard and the Lufeng Formation was, in fact, Triassic-aged.|3| As it happens, the Lufeng had been horrendously mis-dated and based on tooth-shape and jaw-design the now-confirmed Late Jurassic-aged Fulengia isn't a true lizard, it's a dinosaur. Dinosaurs aren't lizards either, despite many of them having names that suggest as much ("sauros" means "lizard" in Greek), they're reptiles.

The holotype remains of Fulengia are contained in a mineralised nodule, and two other nodules (CUP 2038a and CUP 2038b) from the same site were also found during reinspection of the Catholic University of Peking collections in 1989. All bones contained therein are a jumbled mass, and there seems to be more than one individual present. Simmons reckoned they were "coprolitic in origin"|4|, which means they were piles of poop, though there's no way to tell for sure.

In 1989, Evans and Milner came to the conclusion that Fulengia is a dinosaur of the "prosauropod" persuasion and may be synonymous with the same area's Lufengosaurus|5| which would mean that the anagrammed part of its name would be anagrammed back.
(an anagram of Lufeng, named for C.C. Young)Etymology
Fulengia is an anagram of Lufeng, the Formation in Yunnan Province in which its remains were found. The species epithet, youngi, honors C.C. Young (aka Yang Zhongjian).
Discovery
The remains of Fulengia were discovered in the Lower Lufeng Formation at TaTi in Yunnan Province, China.
The holotype (CUP 2037) is a mineralised lump containing a small skull, just under 4cm long, a single vertebrae, and a jumble of impossible to identify bones. They were originally part of the collections of the Catholic University of Peking (CUP), but now reside at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, USA.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Early Jurassic
Stage: Hettangian-Pliensbachian
Age range: 199-183 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 6.2 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 600 Kg
Diet: Herbivore
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Sauropodomorpha
Prosauropoda
Fulengia
youngi
References
• Simmons, D.J. (1965) "The non-therapsid reptiles of the Lufeng Basin, Yunnan, China".
• Carroll, R.L. and Galton, P.M. (1977) "A 'modern' lizard from the Upper Triassic of China".
• S.E. Evans and A.R. Milner (1989) "Fulengia, a supposed early lizard reinterpreted as a prosauropod dinosaur".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "FULENGIA :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 28th Mar 2017.
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