Chialingosaurus (Greek for "Chialing lizard"); pronounced CHEE-ah-LING-oh-SORE-us
Woodlands of Asia
Late Jurassic (160 million years ago)
Size and Weight:
About 13 feet long and 500 pounds
Small size; narrow skull; pointed rear spikes
Unearthed in China in 1957, Chialingosaurus was the first in a long series of Asian stegosaur discoveries. This early stegosaur was modestly sized (only about 13 feet long and 500 pounds), and probably subsisted not on tree leaves, but on ferns and cycads growing in the Jurassic soil. Thanks to its small build, it's possible that Chialingosaurus was able to rear back on its hind legs to ward off predators or nip at low-lying branches. To date, though, Chialingosaurus is represented by limited fossil remains, so it may yet wind up being assigned to another genus of stegosaur.