The Tuojiangosaurus was a huge dinosaur believed to have lived in the Upper Shaximiao Formation in China, present-day Sichuan Province. Like its predecessor, the Kentrosaurus, Tuojiangosaurus had plates along its spine, the neck, and the front truck. These plates are thought to have been a way of protection from predators as they were formed into spikes at the central section.
|What does Tuojiangosaurus mean?||Tuo River lizard|
|On the menu||Herbivorous|
|Length||23 feet (7 meters)|
|Height||8 feet 4 inches (2.5 meters)|
|Weight||About 5700 lbs (2.6 tons)|
|Legs used to get around||Quadruped|
|Estimated top speed||8 km/h (5 mph)|
|When they lived||Upper Jurassic era 157-154 million years ago|
|Where they have been found?||China|
When & Where
The remains of the Tuojiangosaurus were accidentally discovered in 1974 during the construction of the Wujiaba dam in Zigong. Later, in 1977, the Tuojiangosaurus was named and described by Chang Yijong, Zhou Shiwu, Li Xuanmin, and Dong Zhiming. Its holotype was found in the Upper Shaximiao Formation, representing the most complete stegosaurus skeleton ever found in Asia.
Size & Weight
Large and hideous, the Tuojiangosaurus weighed a stunning 3 metric tons and measured up to 6.5 meters in length. It closely resembled the North American Stegosaurus but had a relatively narrower head.
Mobility & Diet
The Tuojiangosaurus was herbivorous. It is thought to have fed on low-lying vegetation because its head was closer to the ground. The Tuojiangosaurus was also unable to rear up due to its short spine, so it moved on all four limbs.
- The Tuojiangosaurus is the most famous of the Chinese stegosaurs.
- A skeleton of the Tuojiangosaurus fighting a Monolophosaurus is on display in various historical sites, including the Field Museum of Chicago and the Municipal Museum of Chongqing.
- Contrary to popular opinion, its body plates were not meant for defense or thermoregulation but for aesthetics.
- The Tuojiangosaurus was named exactly 100 years after the Stegosaurus.