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Temporal range: Late Jurassic, 163–157  Ma
Tienshanosaurus-Paleozoological Museum of China.jpg
Holotype scapula, Paleozoological Museum of China
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Clade: Saurischia
Clade: Sauropodomorpha
Clade: Sauropoda
Family: Mamenchisauridae
Genus: Tienshanosaurus
Yang, 1937
T. chitaiensis
Binomial name
Tienshanosaurus chitaiensis
Yang, 1937

Tienshanosaurus (meaning "Tienshan lizard") is an extinct genus of dinosaur from the Late Jurassic. It was a sauropod which lived in what is now China. Only one species is known, Tienshanosaurus chitaiensis, which was named and described in 1937. [1]

Discovery and classification

On 11 September 1928 Chinese geology professor Yuan Fu ("P.L. Yüan") discovered in Xinjiang the remains of about thirty adult and three juvenile sauropods, which he uncovered during the following weeks. The finds, including a fossilized egg, were sent to Beijing where they ultimately became part of the collection of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology. In 1937 paleontologist Yang Zhongjian ("C.C. Young") named the type species Tienshanosaurus chitaiensis. [1] The generic name, suggested by Yuan, refers to the Tian Shan, the "heavenly mountains". The specific name refers to the location Chitai or Qitai.

The holotype, IVPP AS 40002-3, was found near Paikushan, Luanshantze, in sandstone of the Shishugou Formation dating from the Oxfordian. It consists of elements of the postcrania. A considerable part of the skeleton is known but not the skull or the lower jaws. The body length has been estimated at twelve metres.

In 1991 Ralph Molnar renamed Euhelopus zdanskyi to Tienshanosaurus zdanskyi, [2] [ failed verification ] despite the species having priority over T. chitaiensis, made possible by the fact that Euhelopus is a renaming of the earlier Helopus. Meanwhile, Valérie Martin-Rolland renamed T. chitaiensis into Euhelopus chitaiensis. [3]

Due to the fragmentary nature of the material and a limited description, it has not been easy to establish the affinities of Tienshanosaurus. Originally classified in the Helopodinae, it has been assigned to many groups, among them the Astrodontidae, Euhelopodidae, Brachiosauridae, and Camarasauridae, but recent consensus (2011) has been to assign Tienshanosaurus to Mamenchisauridae. [4]

Related Research Articles

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Mamenchisaurus is a genus of sauropod dinosaur known for their remarkably long necks which made up nearly half the total body length. Numerous species have been assigned to the genus; however, many of these might be questionable. Fossils have been found in the Sichuan Basin and Yunnan Province in China. Several species are from the Upper Shaximiao Formation whose geologic age is uncertain. However, evidence suggests that this be no earlier than the Oxfordian stage of the Late Jurassic. M. sinocanadorum dates to the Oxfordian stage and M. anyuensis to the Aptian stage of the Early Cretaceous around 114.4 mya. Most species were medium to large size sauropods, around 15 to 26 meters in length and possibly up to 35 meters (115 ft) based on two undescribed vertebrae.

Ultrasaurus is a genus of sauropod dinosaur discovered by Haang Mook Kim in South Korea. However, the name was first used unofficially in 1979 by Jim Jensen to describe a set of giant dinosaur bones he discovered in the United States. Because Kim published the name for his specimen before Jensen could do so officially, Jensen renamed his specimen Ultrasauros. Jensen's giant sauropod was later found to be a chimera, and the type remains are now assigned to Supersaurus.

Haplocanthosaurus is a genus of intermediate sauropod dinosaur. Two species, H. delfsi and H. priscus, are known from incomplete fossil skeletons. It lived during the late Jurassic period, 155 to 152 million years ago. The type species is H. priscus, and the referred species H. delfsi was discovered by a young college student named Edwin Delfs in Colorado, United States. Haplocanthosaurus specimens have been found in the very lowest layer of the Morrison Formation, along with Hesperosaurus mjosi, Brontosaurus yahnahpin, and Allosaurus jimmadseni.

<i>Opisthocoelicaudia</i> Sauropod dinosaur genus from Late Cretaceous Mongolia

Opisthocoelicaudia is a genus of sauropod dinosaur of the Late Cretaceous Period discovered in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. The type species is Opisthocoelicaudia skarzynskii. A well-preserved skeleton lacking only the head and neck was unearthed in 1965 by Polish and Mongolian scientists, making Opisthocoelicaudia one of the best known sauropods from the Late Cretaceous. Tooth marks on this skeleton indicate that large carnivorous dinosaurs had fed on the carcass and possibly had carried away the now-missing parts. To date, only two additional, much less complete specimens are known, including part of a shoulder and a fragmentary tail. A relatively small sauropod, Opisthocoelicaudia measured about 11.4–13 m (37–43 ft) in length. Like other sauropods, it would have been characterised by a small head sitting on a very long neck and a barrel shaped trunk carried by four column-like legs. The name Opisthocoelicaudia means "posterior cavity tail", alluding to the unusual, opisthocoel condition of the anterior tail vertebrae that were concave on their posterior sides. This and other skeletal features lead researchers to propose that Opisthocoelicaudia was able to rear on its hindlegs.

<i>Euhelopus</i> Extinct genus of dinosaurs

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<i>Yunnanosaurus</i> Extinct genus of dinosaurs

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<i>Omeisaurus</i> Extinct genus of dinosaurs

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<i>Klamelisaurus</i> Extinct genus of dinosaurs

Klamelisaurus is a genus of herbivorous sauropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic Shishugou Formation of China. The type species is Klamelisaurus gobiensis, which was named by Zhao Xijin in 1993, based on a partial skeleton discovered in 1982 near the abandoned town of Jiangjunmiao. Zhao described Klamelisaurus as the only member of a new subfamily, Klamelisaurinae, among the now-defunct primitive sauropod order Bothrosauropodoidea. Since Zhao's description, Klamelisaurus received limited attention from researchers until Andrew Moore and colleagues redescribed it in 2020.

<i>Patagosaurus</i> Extinct genus of dinosaurs

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<i>Yuanmousaurus</i> Extinct genus of dinosaurs

Yuanmousaurus was a sauropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic period of China. It is known from incomplete remains, recovered in 2000 from the Zhanghe Formation in Yuanmou County in Yunnan Province. Yuanmousaurus was a relatively large sauropod and may have reached about 17 meters (56 ft) in length. It was a basal member of the Sauropoda, but its exact systematic position is unclear. A recent study placed Yuanmousaurus within the family Mamenchisauridae. The only and type species was Yuanmousaurus jiangyiensis.

<i>Phuwiangosaurus</i> Extinct genus of dinosaurs

Phuwiangosaurus is a genus of titanosaur dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous (Valanginian-Hauterivian) Sao Khua Formation of Thailand. The type species, P. sirindhornae, was described by Martin, Buffetaut, and Suteethorn in a 1993 press release and was formally named in 1994. The species was named to honor Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand, who was interested in the geology and palaeontology of Thailand, while the genus was named after the Phu Wiang area, where the fossil was discovered.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Euhelopodidae</span> Extinct family of dinosaurs

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<i>Daxiatitan</i> Extinct genus of dinosaurs

Daxiatitan is a genus of sauropod dinosaur known from the Lower Cretaceous of Gansu, China. Its type and only species is Daxiatitan binglingi. It is known from a single partial skeleton consisting of most of the neck and back vertebrae, two tail vertebrae, a shoulder blade, and a thigh bone. At the time of its discovery in 2008, Daxiatitan was regarded as potentially the largest known dinosaur from China.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mamenchisauridae</span> Extinct family of dinosaurs

Mamenchisauridae is a family of sauropod dinosaurs belonging to Eusauropoda known from the Jurassic and Early Cretaceous of Asia and Africa. Some members of the group reached gigantic sizes, amongst the largest of all sauropods.

<i>Sibirotitan</i> Extinct genus of reptiles

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  1. 1 2 C.-C. Young, 1937, "A new dinosaurian from Sinkiang", Palaeontologia Sinica, New Series C, Whole Series No. 132 213: 1-29
  2. Molnar, R. E., 1991, "Fossil Reptiles in Australia", In: Editors P. Vickers-Rich, J. M. Monaghan, R. F. Baird and T. H. Rich with the assistance of E. M. Thompson and C. Williams, Vertebrate Palaeontology of Australasia. Pioneer Design Studio for and in co-operation with Monash University Publications Committee, p. 605-702
  3. V. Martin-Rolland, 1999. "Les sauropodes chinois", Revue Paléobiologie, Genève 18(1): 287-315
  4. T. Sekiya. 2011. Re-examination of Chuanjiesaurus anaensis (Dinosauria: Sauropoda) from the Middle Jurassic Chuanjie Formation, Lufeng County, Yunnan Province, southwest China. Memoir of the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum 10:1-54.