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Lanzhousaurus (Wikimedia Commons)


Lanzhousaurus (Greek for "Lanzhou lizard"); pronounced LAN-zhoo-SORE-us


Woodlands of Asia

Historical Period:

Early Cretaceous (120-110 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 30 feet long and 5 tons



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large size; enormous teeth


About Lanzhousaurus:

When its partial remains were discovered in China in 2005, Lanzhousaurus caused a stir for two reasons. First, this dinosaur measured an enormous 30 feet in length, making it one of the biggest ornithopods before the rise of the hadrosaurs in the late Cretaceous period. And second, at least some of this dinosaur's teeth were equally enormous: with choppers up to 14 centimeters long (in a meter-long lower jaw), Lanzhousaurus may be the longest-toothed herbivorous dinosaur that ever lived. Lanzhousaurus appears to have been closely related to Lurdusaurus, another giant ornithopod from central Africa--a strong hint that dinosaurs migrated from Africa to Eurasia (and vice-versa) during the early Cretaceous.


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