The Tsintaosaurus was a genus of hadrosaurid dinosaurs that originated from Late Cretaceous Asia around 85 million years ago. The Tsintaosaurus also belonged to the Hadrosauridae family, which houses other hadrosaurid dinosaurs.

Key facts

Tsintaosaurus pronunciationChing-dow-sore-us
What does Tsintaosaurus mean?The dinosaur’s name translates to “Qingdao lizard”, after the transliteration of the “Tsingtao”. This is in reference to the location where the fossils were found.
Dinosaur typeOrnithopod
On the menuHerbivore
Length32 feet (10 meters)
Height13 feet (4 meters)
Weight6000lbs (2700 kilos)
Life expectancy A careful estimate is that they might have lived for 15-20 years.
Legs used to get aroundLikely quadruped, but possibly also able to stand on just two feet when feeding.
Estimated top speedDue to the incomplete fossil and partly complete skull, there isn’t enough information to support how fast could have been but according to Prieto-Marquez, hadrosaurs moved very slowly.
When they livedLate Cretaceous Period, about 84-71 million years ago.
Where they have been found?Shandong, China.

When & Where

The fossils of the Tsintaosaurus were first found during the 1950s in the province of Shandong, China. The fossils that were discovered consist of a skull as well as a body from two specimens. Based on other specimens found it is believed they roamed in herds. 

Size & Weight of the Tsintaosaurus

According to scientists and paleontologists, the Tsintaosaurus can reach up to 10 meters (32 ft) long, 4 meters (13.12 ft) tall, and can weigh up to 2700 kilos (5952.4 lbs). It is also concluded that young and adult Tsintaosaurus can vary in size and weight.

Mobility & Diet

The Tsintaosaurus was quadrupedal, but while feeding they could use just their hind legs. This flexibility helped them reach more heights wherein they are able to feed off on branches of trees as well as different varying heights. For herbivorous dinosaurs, conifers are the plants that they mostly ate.

Interesting Points

  • This genus existed from 83.6 million years ago to 72.1 million years ago.
  • 4 different specimens have been found by paleontologists.
  • Upon discovery of the remains of the Tsintaosaurus, paleontologists found that this dinosaur had a “unicorn horn” on top of its head. Later studies concluded that this unicorn horn was part of a hatchet crest on the skull which helped it to communicate with other dinosaurs.