Dinosaurs: Huayangosaurus


Huayangosaurus (Sichuan Lizard)

Huayangosaurus was a medium sized plant-eating Dinosaur that lived during the Triassic period. It was the early ancestor of a group of Dinosaurs called Stegosaurs. Other members of this group included Tuojiangosaurus, Kentrosaurus and the more well-known Stegosaurus. Huayangosaurus was one of the smaller members of this group growing up to 13 feet long (4 m) and weighing around 1,000 pounds.

Huayangosaurus most distinctive feature was the plates along its neck, shoulders, back and tail. These plates became more spike-like along its back and tail, supporting the theory that Stegosaur plates evolved from spikes. As well as the spikes along its back, Huayangosaurus also had a long spike above each of its shoulders. There has been much debate about the function of these spikes/plates. Some scientist believe that they were used for regulating body temperature whilst others believe they were used self-defence or attracting mates.

Stegosaurs had very smalls brain for such large Dinosaurs - roughly the size of a walnut. It was once believed that these brains were too small to control the Dinosaurs large body and that a second brain was located near the Dinosaurs hip area.  Scientists now believe that this second larger brain merely held nerves and controlled the hind legs and tail area.

Huayangosaurus probably lived in family groups and possibly herds, however there is no conclusive evidence to suggest this.  




Huayangosaurus size

Pronounced: wah-YANG-o-SAW-rus

Name Means: "Sichuan Lizard"
Length: 13 feet (4 m)
Height: 4 feet (1.3 m)
Weight: 1,000 pounds (450 kilos)
Diet: Herbivore (Low-lying Plants)
Time: Middle Jurassic - 165 million years ago
Habitat: Open Woodland ?
Fossils Found: China



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