Chungkingosaurus

The Chungkingosaurus was a herbivorous dinosaur from the Upper Shaximiao Formation in modern-day China. It lived during the late Jurassic period and is regarded as one of the smallest stegosaurus. The name Chungkingosaurus means “Chongqing lizard” in reference to the location where the first fossils were unearthed. 

Key facts

DomainDescription
Chungkingosaurus pronunciationchung-ching-oh-sore-us
What does Chungkingosaurus mean?Chongqing lizard
Dinosaur typeArmoured
On the menuHerbivorous
Length12 ft (3.8 meters)
Height5 ft (1.4 meters)
WeightAbout 2000 lbs (1 ton)
Life expectancyUnknown
Legs used to get aroundQuadruped
Estimated top speedUnknown
When they livedLate Jurassic era 159-142 million years ago
Where they have been found?China

When & Where

The first fossils of the Chungkingosaurus were discovered in 1977 near the Chongqing region in China. In the years that followed, in 1983, paleontologists Dong Zhiming, Zhou Shiwu, and Zhang Yihong named and described and named the remains. The Chungkingosaurus is estimated to have lived in the Late Jurassic era, about 160 million years ago.

Size & Weight

There is no known complete skeleton of the Chungkingosaurus. However, studies show that the Chungkingosaurus was a small-sized dinosaur that measured less than four meters. Records have its full length as an adult as 4-5 meters and an estimated weight of 1,000 to 3,000 kg. It had thick plates arranged in rows and spikes at the end of its tail, which purposefully defended it against larger predators.

Mobility & Diet

Similar to other known stegosaurus, the Chungkingosaurus was exclusively herbivorous. It had a deep snout and non-overlapping teeth that made it easier to feed on foliage. In the late Jurassic Period, the Chungkingosaurus would have been found in dense forests and grasslands where it grazed in the company of other stegosaurus.

Interesting Points

  • The Chungkingosaurus had a spiked tail that it used to defend itself against predators.
  • It is considered one of the smallest members of the stegosaurus dinosaurs.
  • It closely resembles the Tuojiangosaurus and has, at times, often been grouped as the same species.
  • A skeleton model of the Chungkingosaurus is set up in the Chongqing Municipal Museum.

Featured Image Credit: National History Museum