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Janenschia (London Natural History Museum)


Janenschia (after paleontologist Werner Janensch); pronounced ja-NEN-she-ah


Woodlands of Africa

Historical Period:

Late Jurassic (155 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 50 feet long and 10 tons



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Long neck and tail; armor plating along back


About Janenschia:

The titanosaurs--the lightly armored descendants of the sauropods--came into their own during the middle to late Cretaceous period, but some "basal" species lived tens of millions of years earlier. To date, the late Jurassic Janenschia is the earliest titanosaur in the fossil record; this 50-foot-long, 10-ton behemoth roamed the woodlands of southern Africa about 155 million years ago, while its sauropod cousins were ascendant elsewhere. Otherwise, though, Janenschia remains a poorly understood dinosaur, represented only by its front and back legs and a few vertebrae.

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