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21 Jaw-some Facts About The Phuwiangosaurus For Kids

Learn some amazing Phuwiangosaurus facts!

Phuwiangosaurus is one of the most important sauropod dinosaurs, as it is the first member of Sauropoda whose fossil remains were found in Thailand in Southeast Asia. These remains were found in the Sao Khua Formation in the district of Phu Wiang, and initially dated back to either the Late Jurassic or Early Cretaceous of Thailand, as it is now known, but it has now been confirmed that they were recovered from the Lower Cretaceous strata of the Sao Khua Formation. This Formation in Phu Wiang in Thailand has yielded numerous sauropod bones, including some belonging to juvenile individuals, but all of them are thought to have belonged to Phuwiangosaurus. One of the first sauropod bones found in Thailand was discovered in 1978, by a French paleontologist. A new genus was formally named and described by Martin, Buffetaut, and Suteethorn in 1994 in a report titled, "Jurassic sauropod dinosaurs of Thailand: a preliminary report". Since then, more fossil material belonging to many specimens has been found. Martin, Buffetaut, and Suteethorn described a single species, P. sirindhornae, as belonging to this new genus, which is also the type species.

Although this dinosaur was first assigned to Titanosauria, phylogenetic analyses later gave it a position within Titanosauriformes as a basal member. More recent phylogenetic analyses by Mannion in 2013 have attributed it to the family Euhelopodidae as it was found to be related to the dinosaur Euhelopus. However, not all scientists support this position within the family Euhelopodidae given by Mannion. 

If you want to read about other cool dinosaurs, check out our Hesperonychus fun facts and Amygdalodon fun facts pages.

Phuwiangosaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Phuwiangosaurus '?

Phuwiangosaurus was formally named and described by Martin, Buffetaut, and Suteethorn in their report titled, 'Jurassic sauropod dinosaurs of Thailand: a preliminary report', in 1994. The name is phonetically pronounced as 'Fu-we-ang-o-sore-us'.

What type of dinosaur was a Phuwiangosaurus?

This dinosaur was considered to be a type of sauropod titanosaur because of the large bones that were first found in Thailand. Later, it was given a basal position within the group Titanosauriformes. Titanosaurs are described by their characteristic giant size. They were also the last giant sauropods that survived from the Late Jurassic till the end of the Mesozoic Era. In his phylogenetic analyses, Mannion placed it within Euhelopodidae, which is a family within Sauropoda that consists of sauropods found in East and Southeast Asia, and are closely related to the sauropod Euhelopus. Many of them were also found in the Lower Cretaceous strata. However, not much support has been given to this classification given by Mannion. It has also been thought to be a basal member of Somphospondyli, which consists of titanosaurs and other sauropods that had at least 15 cervical vertebrae.

In which geological period did the Phuwiangosaurus roam the earth?

This sauropod was found in the strata corresponding to the Lower Cretaceous of Thailand, implying that it would have lived during the Early Cretaceous period of the Mesozoic Era. Thus, this species would have been alive around 140-130 million years ago.

When did they become extinct?

Since this giant animal lived during the Cretaceous, it would likely have gone extinct due to the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event that occurred almost 66 million years ago.

Where did a Phuwiangosaurus live?

These sauropods would have lived in what is now known as Thailand in Asia. The fossil remains of this species have been recovered from the Phu Wiang Province of Thailand, in the Sao Khua Formation.

What was a Phuwiangosaurus's habitat?

Martin, Buffetaut, and Suteethorn, in their description of the dinosaur, reported that the gray and red sandstones, among other deposits in the Sao Khua Formation in Phu Wiang, suggested that the area had been a wide floodplain with plenty of rivers during the Cretaceous.

Who did a Phuwiangosaurus live with?

Sauropods are generally known to have lived and traveled in herds. The description of bonebeds and trackways found of some species of sauropods has suggested that these herds could have been formed based on the age of these animals; that is, some herds were found to consist only of juveniles, while others only of adults. These dinosaurs could have done this to support the different diets adults and juveniles are thought to have had. It is unclear whether Phuwiangosaurus formed herds based on age as well.

How long did a Phuwiangosaurus live?

Although it is not known how long this genus of dinosaurs would have lived, generally, due to their large size and herbivorous diet, it is estimated that sauropod dinosaurs would have lived for up to 50-100 years in the wild!

How did they reproduce?

These dinosaurs were oviparous, and thus, laid eggs from which their young ones emerged.

Phuwiangosaurus Fun Facts

What did a Phuwiangosaurus look like?

Like most giant sauropods and members of Somphospondyli, Phuwiangosaurus would have had an extremely long neck, stocky, pillar-like legs, and a long tail. According to the description given by Martin, Buffetaut, and Suteethorn, the centrum of this animal was slightly elongated and fused with the cervical or neck ribs.

Phuwiangosaurus was a giant sauropod with a long neck and tail.
*We've been unable to source an image of Phuwiangosaurus and have used an image of Euhelopus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Phuwiangosaurus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].

How many bones did a Phuwiangosaurus have?

Although many fossils of this genus of dinosaurs have been discovered, the total number of bones has not been quantified due to a lack of research.

How did they communicate?

These dinosaurs would have communicated using some form of vocalizations or body language, but it is difficult to know exactly how.

How big was a Phuwiangosaurus?

This genus was a member of the group Somphospondyli and would have had an estimated body length of 39-82 ft (12-25 m), which is almost three times less than the length of some of the largest sauropods.

How fast could a Phuwiangosaurus move?

Research into the estimated speed of sauropods, and biomechanics studies and analyses concluded that the maximum speed that sauropods would have been able to achieve is 5 mph (8 kph).

How much did a Phuwiangosaurus weigh?

Sauropods usually had the highest body weight out of most dinosaurs that existed. Phuwiangosaurus sirindhornae would have also had a weight of around 18.7 short tons (16.7 long tons). This was still about four times less than the weight of some of the heaviest sauropods such as Argentinosaurus.

What were the male and female names of the species?

There were no special names for the male and female dinosaurs of this species and genus.

What would you call a baby Phuwiangosaurus ?

A baby dinosaur of the species P. sirindhornae would have been called a hatchling.

What did they eat?

P. sirindhornae was a herbivore and would have fed on the plant material that would have been available in Thailand around 140 million years ago.

Though there aren't any known predators that these dinosaurs would have had, some theropod teeth were found along with the remains of this genus, indicating that theropods would have either preyed upon them or scavenged them.

How aggressive were they?

It is unlikely that these dinosaurs would have been aggressive, but their huge size and weight have intimidated other animals in the region.

Did you know...

In Thailand, dinosaur bones have always been surrounded by beliefs and superstitions. For example, it is thought that touching a dinosaur would ensure a long and healthy life, or could even make you find winning lottery numbers!

What does Phuwiangosaurus mean?

Phuwiangosaurus was formally named by Martin, Buffetaut, and Suteethorn, and is a reference to the province of Phu Wiang of Thailand, in which the remains of this genus were recovered. The specific name, Phuwiangosaurus sirindhornae, was given to honor the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand, who always showed great interest in the paleontology and geology of her country.

Was phuwiangosaurus endemic?

It is not known if P. sirindhornae was endemic to Thailand, as its remains of this basal member of Titanosauriformes have only been found in Thailand so far. However, it is possible that the animal would have traveled to other landmasses that would have been together during the Early Cretaceous. 

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Concavenator facts and Camarillasaurus facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Phuwiangosaurus coloring pages.

Image one by DiBgd at English Wikipedia.

Image two by Kumiko.

*We've been unable to source an image of Phuwiangosaurus and have used an image of Euhelopus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Phuwiangosaurus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].

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