Zigongosaurus



Zigongosaurus was a large quadrupedal (walked on four legs) herbivore. It was a about 35 feet (10.7 m) long and may have weighed about 20 tons. It had a long neck, a long tail, a small head with spoon-shaped teeth, and thick, elephant-like legs. Zigongosaurus lived during the late Jurassic period. Zigongosaurus was an herbivore, a plant eater. It stripped foliage with spoon-shaped teeth.Β  It used to be thought that the sauropods (like Zigongosaurus, Brachiosaurus and Apatosaurus) and Stegosaurus had a second brain. Paleontologists now think that what they thought was a second brain was just an enlargement in the spinal cord in the hip area. This enlargement was larger than the animal’s tiny brain. Zigongosaurus was a sauropodomorpha, whose intelligence (as measured by its relative brain to body weight, or EQ) was the lowest among the dinosaurs. Zigongosaurus may have travelled in herds and migrated when they depleted their local food supply. Zigongosaurus may have hatched from eggs, like other sauropods. Sauropod eggs have been found in a linear pattern and not in nests; presumably the eggs were laid as the animal was walking. It is thought that sauropods did not take care of their eggs. Sauropods life spans may have been in the order of 100 years. Zigongosaurus walked on four massive, elephant-like legs and was relatively slow. Dinosaur speedsΒ are estimated using their morphology (characteristics like leg length and estimated body mass) and fossilized trackways. An almost complete Zigongosaurus skeleton was found in Zigong, China. Zigongosaurus was named by Hou, Chao, and Chu in 1976. Zigongosaurus was a Saurichian dinosaur, the order of lizard-hipped dinosaurs. It was a sauropodomorpha (quadrupedal herbivores), a sauropod, and belonged to the family Euhelopodidae (“good marsh feet,” that had spoon-shaped teeth). The type species isΒ Z. fuxiensis.