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WANNANOSAURUS

a herbivorous pachycephalosaurid dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of China.
Pronunciation: WAH-NAHN-o-SOR-us
Meaning: Southern Anhui lizard
Author/s: Hou (1977)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Anhui, China
Chart Position: 206

Wannanosaurus yansiensis

The vast majority of pachycephalosaurs—the thick-skulled critters affectionately known as "head bangers"—hail from the Late Cretaceous of North America and Mongolia so when the odd one pops up in China it always causes problems. Wannanosaurus was afforded the briefest of descriptions in 1977 by Lian-Hai Hou, who tagged it "primitive" because of its flat head and large fenestrae (skull windows) and noted similarities to the basal ceratopsian Psittacosaurus. It soon drifted into obscurity, with only passing mention in the literature, and when R.J. Butler arrived to perform a thorough review of its remains in 2009, he found that some of them had gone awol. This kind of thing tends to hamper research somewhat.

Wannanosaurus is the only confirmed Asian "head banger" not suffixed with the customary "cephale" (head) which has led certain paleontologists to lump it with one that is. For many moons its tiny frame—less than a meter long with a thigh measuring just 8cm—was thought to be fully-grown based on adulthood-heralding bone fusion as initially reported by Maryanska. But some experts suspect it's merely a juvenile and possibly synonymous with the similarly flat-headed Homalocephale calathocercos from Mongolia's Nemegt Formation... which may just be a female version of the high-domed Prenocephale prenes from the same area.
Etymology
Wannanosaurus is derived from "Wan" (Chinese name for Anhui Province), "nan" (Chinese for South) and the Greek "sauros" (Lizard).
The species epithet, yansiensis, means "from Yansi" in Latin.
Discovery
The remains of Wannanosaurus were discovered near the town of Yansi in the Red sandstones of the Xiaoyan Formation, Shexian County, Anhui Province, China, by the Anwei Provincial Survey in 1970.
The holotype (IVPP V4477) consists of a partial skull roof and lower jaw with seven teeth, limb bones and a single neck vertebra.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Cretaceous
Stage: Maastrichtian
Age range: 71-68 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 1 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 10 Kg
Diet: Herbivore
References
• Lian-Hai Hou (1977) "A new primitive Pachycephalosaurid from Anhui, China".
• R.M. Sullivan (2006) "A taxonomic review of the Pachycephalosauridae".
• R.J. Butler and Q. Zhao (2009) "The small-bodied ornithischian dinosaurs Micropachycephalosaurus hongtuyanensis and Wannanosaurus yansiensis from the Late Cretaceous of China".
• P.C. Sereno (2003) "Systematics of Asian marginocephalians " in Benton, Shishkin, Unwin and Kurochkin (eds.) "The Age of Dinosaurs in Russia and Mongolia".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "WANNANOSAURUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 30th May 2017.
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