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YANDUSAURUS

a plant-eating ornithopodan dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of China.
yandusaurus.png
Pronunciation: yan-doo-SOR-us
Meaning: Salt capital lizard
Author/s: He (1979)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Sichuan, China
Chart Position: 223

Yandusaurus hongheensis

The remains of what would become Yandusaurus were discovered by construction workers operating huge diggers at the Honghe Dam Site at Zigong in 1973, and by discovered we mean pulverized. The remains, or what was left of them, were affectionately referred to as "Yubasaurus" or "Honghesaurus" by locals, but Beijing professor Xinlu He settled on Yandusaurus hongheensis for its official description in 1979, referring to the area in which it was found.

Yandusaurus is one of the most primitive known ornithopods and, like most primitive ornithopods, it was previously called a "hypsilophodont". It was a small, bipedal, fleet-footed herbivore, with five-fingered hands, four-toed feet, and large eyes, and split its time between chomping foliage with its unique, vertically-ridged teeth and avoiding the Lower Shaximiao's least dubious predator, Gasosaurus.

(Salt Capital Lizard) Etymology
Yandusaurus is derived from "Yandu" (the ancient name for Zigong) and the Greek "sauros" (lizard). Yandu is a contraction of "yan" (salt), and "du" (capital), occasioned by the fact that Zigong was historically the centre of Chinese salt mining. In a way this also honors the Salt Museum where the specimen's describer, Xinlu He, was professor.
The species epithet, hongheensis, refers to the Honghe river.
Discovery
The remains of Yandusaurus were collected from the Honghe Dam at Hongheba, approximately 10 km from Dashanpu, Zigong, Sichuan, China, in the Lower Shaximiao (Xiashaximiao) Formation. The holotype (GCC V20501) is a partial and badly damaged skeleton.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Middle Jurassic
Stage: Bathonian-Callovian
Age range: 161-156 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 1.5 meters
Est. max. hip height: 0.4 meters
Est. max. weight: 15 Kg
Diet: Herbivore
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Ornithischia
Cerapoda
Ornithopoda
Yandusaurus
hongheensis
Second species?
Yandusaurus multidens, despite managing to avoid dams and muck-diggers, has led quite an exciting life-after-death itself, actually. It was named by Xinlu He and Kaiji Cai in 1983 based on an almost complete, articulated skull and a partial skeleton (ZDM T6001) from the same area as Yandusaurus hongheensis. Guangzhao Peng re-assigned it to Agilisaurus as Agilisaurus multidens in 1992, Gregory S. Paul renamed it Othnielia multidens in 1996, and Paul Barrett placed it in its own genus, Hexinlusaurus, in 2005.
References
• X. He (1979) "A newly discovered ornithopod dinosaur Yandusaurus from Zigong, Sichuan" in Contributions to International Exchange of Geology. Part 2. Stratigraphy and paleontology. Geol. publishing House, Beijing: pp. 116-123.
• X. He and K. Cai (1984) "The Middle Jurassic dinosaur fauna from Dashanpu, Zigong, Sichuan". Vol. I. The ornithopod dinosaurs.
• G.S. Paul (2010) "The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs".
• P. J. Currie & K. Padian (1997) "Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs". /uk. Page 357.
• X. He and K. Cai (1983) "A new species of Yandusaurus (hypsilophodont dinosaur) from the Middle Jurassic of Dashanpu, Zigong, Sichuan".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "YANDUSAURUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 21st Feb 2018.
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