Szechuanosaurus, commonly known as the Szechuan lizard, is a doubtful extinct genus of Therapod dinosaurs from the Late Jurassic, whose fossil remains were found in China, Asia. The remains were discovered by Chung Chien Young, also known as Yang Chung-Chien, a Chinese paleontologist and zoologist, in 1942. He was China's foremost vertebrate paleontologist, and is known as the Father of Chinese vertebrate paleontology! These creatures turned the archaeology and paleontology world upside down; even today scientists are not sure whether they are correctly placed in the evolutionary tree. The species was identified and classified solely by the dentary bones and several undiagnostic teeth recovered from the archeological sites at the Shangshaximiao Formation, Kuangyuan Series, and the Kalaza Formation located in the Sichuan Province, China. The species was first classified as a Theropod by Chung Chien Young because some of the teeth indicate a large body size. Yang Zhongjian, named its type species as Szechuanosaurus campi while working on four discovered specimens. He studied a partial tooth (IVPP V236), several tooth fragments (IVPP V238), a single tooth (IVPP V239), and a fragmentary skeleton (UCMP 32102). Read on to find out more about this dinosaur including details about its range, habitat, lifestyle, diet, and other interesting facts!
The word Szechuanosaurus is pronounced 'sesh-wan-oh-sore-us'.
Fossil remains indicate that Szechuanosaurus was a carnivorous Theropod dinosaur.
Fossils of this species were discovered in the Guangyuan or Kuangyuan County of the Sichuan Province in China. They lived in the Late Jurassic or during the Oxfordian and Early Kimmeridgian Jurassic.
These dinosaurs lived during the Late Jurassic period in China and went extinct during the K-T mass extinction nearly 65 million years ago.
These dinosaurs were distributed across Mid-Late Jurassic China, Asia.
This Theropod dinosaur follows a carnivorous diet. It never settled in one place and was often in search of new hunting grounds; its habitat changed according to its survival needs. They inhabited forests, lakesides, riversides, swamps, and floodplains.
The social behavior of this species has not been researched enough, but given that they were carnivores they probably preferred living alone to avoid competition for food and other survival resources.
The lifespan of this particular dinosaur is unknown. However, Therapods, in general, were believed to have a life span of 26 or 32 years.
Just like every other Theropod species, they reproduced via sexual reproduction. Males would release their sperm inside females, who would later lay fertilized eggs containing developing dinosaur embryos in nests that were built by digging burrows in the soil. The eggs were enormous and had a hard layered shell. The eggs most probably were amniotic, meaning the fetus was covered by a membrane which helped in its protection as well as supplying oxygen and other nutrients to the fetus.
It was a medium-sized carnivore dinosaur; remains recovered from China shed some light on its physical features and appearance. They had a fairly large head, pointy conical teeth, a long tail, a broad neck, bumpy hard skin with scales, and sharp claws. They are also known as the Szechuan lizard thanks to their lizard-like features. Teeth recovered from the research sites contributed a lot towards the research conducted on them! However, since these teeth do not necessarily have any specific or distinctive characteristic features, scientists are still unsure about their biological classification and taxonomic ranks.
The fossils recovered from the archaeological sites consisted of a partial skeleton, several vertebrae and teeth, arm, dentary, leg, and hip bones.
Communication among prehistoric creatures is still a mystery but many scientists over the past decades have come up with several theories that suggest possible ways these animals communicated. Some put forth the theory of vocalizations, and that these ferocious beasts engaged in dialogue by producing calls, hoots, cracking sounds, body movements, and symbolic love calls during the mating season.
A Szechuanosaurus dinosaur (Szechuan lizard) grew up to 13 ft (4 m) in length and 3 ft (1 m) in height.
The exact speed of the species is unknown. However, they are known to be great hunters and thus many believe that they had an incredible speed.
These dinosaurs weighed around 220-330 lb (100-150 kg).
The female species are called Saura, whereas males are called Saurus.
A young dinosaur can be referred to as a hatchling.
They were meat-eating dinosaurs and followed a carnivorous diet. They preyed on smaller species and young hatchings. They had rows of sharp conical teeth adapted to their diet.
These meat-eating dinosaurs are considered to be among the fiercest predators to have ever lived on earth.
The specific name honors Charles Lewis Camp, the American paleontologist who discovered specimen UCMP 32102, the fragmentary skeleton.
Lizards, turtles, snakes, and crocodiles are believed to be descendants of several dinosaur species.
Dinosaur fossils have been recovered from all seven continents, even Antarctica!
Their generic name translates to Szechuan lizard, named after Charles Lewis Camp, and for its lizard-like appearance.
No, they're two different species of dinosaurs but from the same family. Yangchuanosaurus is an extinct genus of Theropod dinosaurs that lived in China from the Middle to Late Jurassic period and bears an uncanny resemblance to its North American and European relative, Allosaurus. Whereas Szechuanosaurus campi was a medium-sized theropod, and its specimen was referred to as a nomen nudum by Daniel Chure, an American paleontologist. Carrano, Benson and Sampson placed it with Yangchuanosaurus shangyouensis from the same stem line. They even have different physical features. The Yangchuanosaurus was discovered by a construction worker during the construction of the Shangyou Reservoir Dam, China.
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 Paronychodon fun facts, or Cedarpelta facts for kids pages.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Szechuanosaurus keep out coloring pages.
Main image by Zhangzhugang and second image by Bjoertvedt.