The Massospondylus dinosaur was described in the year 1854 and is considered to be one of the earliest dinosaurs that were named. They were known to have lived during the Early Jurassic period and have gone to extinction approximately 200-183 years ago. They fed on plant material and lived near Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and South Africa. They had long tails but with small heads. One fascinating fact about their structure is the cheeks. There are holes for blood vessels in the jaw-bones as discovered by the scientist, which is assumed to be the gap for the cheeks.
Massospondylus, the name is derived from Greek and can be divided into five syllables. So it can be pronounced like 'Mas-oh-spon-di-les'.
Massospondylus was an Early Jurrasic period dinosaur belonging to the clade of sauropodomorphs.
The Massospondylus dinosaurs roamed the earth in the Early Jurassic period which was approximately 200–183 million years ago.
The exact time of the extinction of the dinosaur is not known to the sources as of now, but they have been estimated to have lived on Earth approximately 200–183 million years ago.
The massive vertebra that was discovered was found in Africa including regions like Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and Botswana. Apart from that, the fossils have been found in the Arizona of North America, Argentina, and India; however, the Argentinian and Arizonan ones are now said to belong to other genera.
Deciphering the habitat of the regions inhabited by the dinosaur was not possible by researchers.
According to facts, the theropod Dracovenator dinosaur lived at the same time as the Massospondylus.
This species' lifespan is unknown at the moment.
It can be said that they reproduced by laying eggs, just like other dinosaurs.
According to the fossils, the dinosaur had a small head with a lean body and a long neck. The flexible neck was larger than the entire body. They also had long tails. The skull size was small and was almost half the length of the thigh. So we can say, despite the small head, the long neck and the long tail gave these dinosaurs a gigantic structure. The teeth size decreased from the front to the back in the upper jaw. The back teeth were oval-shaped and the ones in the front were round-shaped.
Even though the bones discovered from the fossils were large bones, the exact number of bones in the dinosaur's body has not been discovered yet. Only 80 partial skeletons and around four partial skulls were discovered.
It is believed the dinosaurs must have communicated through sounds and noises. Considering the fact that dinosaurs are expected to have left the planet approximately 183 million years ago, not much information has been acquired by researchers regarding the communication process.
The Massospondylus could be as big as 1 ton (1000 kg) when it comes to weight. They can be long extending up to 13-19.6 in (4-6 m) and had a long tail.
Even though the fossils of the animal gave the researchers an idea about the time period and the relevant information of their existence, the exact speed of the Massospondylus dinosaurs could not be traced. Since the dinosaur is a plant-eater, the speed with which they used to travel could not be estimated.
The Massospondylus dinosaurs weighed up to 1 ton (1000 kg) on average.
There has been no specific name assigned to the male and the female members. They were usually referred to by the sex that the Massospondylus dinosaur belonged to.
There has been no information regarding the nomenclature of a baby Massospondylus. They can be called juveniles or hatchlings.
As we know, a Massospondylus dinosaur was a plant-eater, researchers claimed that they were not very aggressive by their nature.
The largest known skull of the Massospondylus dinosaurs had 26 teeth in the lower jaw.
Even though the dinosaur was said to be quadrupedal, a study in 2007 claimed the animal to be bipedal.
Sir Richard Owen first described the remains of the Massospondylus dinosaurs in the year 1854. These remains were from Botswana and South Africa.
It can be said that it used to defend itself with its arms.
They had five digits with the thumb being the largest.
Its name means 'longer vertebra'.
It is unknown if they possessed neck frills.
*We've been unable to source an image of Massospondylus and have used an image of Apatosaurus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Massospondylus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].
**We've been unable to source an image of Massospondylus and have used an image of Ingentia prima instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Massospondylus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].