The Miragaia was a long-necked, herbivorous dinosaur that lived during the Late Jurassic period. The name “Miragaia” is a Portuguese word for “Beautiful Earth Goddess,” which is fitting because the first fossils of this dinosaur were discovered in the desert. The Miragaia is thought to have lived in what is now Europe, and its remains have been found in Portugal, Spain, and France.
|What does Miragaia mean?||The beautiful goddess of the earth|
|On the menu||Herbivorous|
|Length||6 meters ( 20 feet)|
|Height||2 m ( 7 feet )|
|Weight||2 tons (about 4400 lbs)|
|Legs used to get around||Quadruped|
|Estimated top speed||Unknown|
|When they lived||Late Jurassic era 156-145 million years ago|
|Where they have been found?||Portugal|
When & Where
The first person to fully study and describe the Miragaia was paleontologist Octávio Mateus in 2009. This study came after a discovery was made near the village of Miragaia in the Spanish county of Lourinha. The find comprised an almost complete front skeleton with a partial skull from which scientists deduced the evidence of Miragaia’s presence in the region some 150 million years ago.
Size & Weight
The Miragaia is thought to have been about 20 feet long, with a long neck that could reach up to 7 feet. It weighed up to 2 metric tons in body mass and had a long tail that may have been used to help balance its body. The Miragaia is one of the most well-known dinosaurs from the Late Jurassic period.
Mobility & Diet
The Miragaia was a herbivore, meaning that it ate plants. It is thought to have used its long neck to reach leaves and fruits that other animals couldn’t reach. The Miragaia was a slow-moving quadrupedal dinosaur and may likely have been an easy target for predators.
- Miragaia has the longest neck known for any Stegosaurian.
- The excavation of its first fossils was the last major excavation of a dinosaur that Professor William Harlow Reed (University of Wyoming) was personally involved in.
- Miragaia was in the documentary Dinosaur Revolution, where a herd of them lived by a dried-up watering hole and lived near a Dinheirosaurus herd and an Allosaurus.
Featured Image Credit: Nobu Tamura, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons