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Zhuchengosaurus (Wikimedia Commons)


Zhuchengosaurus (Greek for "Zhucheng lizard"); pronounced zhoo-CHENG-oh-SORE-us


Woodlands of Asia

Historical Period:

Early Cretaceous (110-100 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 55 feet long and 15 tons



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Enormous size; small front limbs


About Zhuchengosaurus:

The impact of Zhuchengosaurus on the dinosaur record books has yet to be determined. Paleontologists aren't quite certain if this 55-foot-long, 15-ton plant-eater should be classified as a gigantic, Iguanodon-like ornithopod, or as one of the first true hadrosaurs, or duck-billed dinosaurs. If it winds up in the latter category, the early-to-middle Cretaceous Zhuchengosaurus would supplant Shantungosaurus (which roamed Asia over 30 million years later) as the biggest hadrosaur that ever lived! (Addendum: after further study, paleontologists have concluded that Zhuchengosaurus was really a species of Shantungosaurus after all.)

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