Fun Lurdusaurus Facts For Kids

Shirin Biswas
Nov 30, 2022 By Shirin Biswas
Originally Published on Sep 15, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Here are some interesting Lurdusaurus facts that will give you a peek into the history of the earth!
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.5 Min

Lurdusaurus arenatus is an extinct species whose fossil remains have been discovered from the Elrhaz formation in present-day Niger. The specimens of this species include a partial skull, some bones from the limbs and vertebrae, as well as a thumb spike.

These large dinosaurs let paleontologists from all around the world believe that even ornithopods could be large and heavy. They were so impressed that two people, namely Taquet and Russel, named the genus Lurdusaurus. The word 'lurdusaurus' literally translates to a heavy lizard!

Characteristics of the genus include a very long neck, padded feet, thumb spikes, short legs and strong forelimbs. These herbivores, interestingly, are estimated to have had a lifestyle that would mimic that of a present-day hippopotamus!

One of the most interesting facts is that this genus was initially named Gravisaurus, but the paper was never published!

Lurdusaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Lurdusaurus'?

The name of this animal is pronounced as 'loor-doo-sore-us.'

What type of dinosaur was a Lurdusaurus?

The Lurdusaurus (heavy lizard) was an ornithopod dinosaur from the early cretaceous period. This animal was preliminarily classified in the same family as Iguanodon since the two dinosaurs seemed to have the same features.

In which geological period did the Lurdusaurus roam the earth?

The geological period during which this ornithopod dinosaur species is assumed to have roamed earth in the early cretaceous period, around the Aptian age.

If you happen to be trying to find out exactly how long ago that may have been from the present day, the Aptian-Albian boundary of the early cretaceous period, during which these animals could be seen on earth, is said to have been roughly 112 million years ago!

When did the Lurdusaurus become extinct?

The fossil remains of the species or genus as a whole do not give us an appropriate description of the exact timeline as to when the Lurdusaurus arenatus (Taquet and Russell) may have become extinct, however, we do know that the cretaceous period came to an end around 100 million years ago.

This gives us a fair idea of when these members of the clade Ornithischia may have become extinct.

Where did a Lurdusaurus live?

The habitat of the Lurdusaurus is estimated to have consisted of riverine forests and floodplains. Such estimations are based on the skeleton of the animal species, which suggests a hippo-like, aquatic lifestyle. The skeletal figure suggests that these animals would use their heavy bones to stay afloat in the water - hence, the term aquatic!

What was a Lurdusaurus' habitat?

Since the fossil remains of the Lurdusaurus arenatus (Taquet and Russell) have only been found in the Elrhaz formation of Niger, this species is often estimated to have been endemic to the land. This formation is also in the Tenera desert, which also gives these animals their binomial name.

Who did a Lurdusaurus live with?

While there is little to no published description of the society in which the Lurdusaurus would live, we do know that there is a considerable possibility that these dinosaurs may have enjoyed living in small or large packs - as is a virtue shared by many herbivorous animals till the present time.

How long did a Lurdusaurus live?

The skeleton of this ornithopod does not tell us much about the time that the Lurdusaurus may have spent on earth before becoming extinct since no supplementary evidence has been discovered as of yet.

How did they reproduce?

Dinosaurs from all around the world have been known to be oviparous, and the skeleton of the Lurdusaurus does not suggest in any way that this genus would have been an exception to this rule. That is to say that these dinosaurs, too, would reproduce by laying eggs.

Whether or not these animals had any courting or nesting habits is little known.

Lurdusaurus Fun Facts

What did a Lurdusaurus look like?

The appearance of the Lurdusaurus allowed paleontologists to understand that even ornithopods could reach great sizes! This animal of the clade Ornithischia is characterized by a long neck, padded feet and strong forelimbs. Their feet are assumed to have been padded mainly because such an enormous weight would require support!

Lurdusaurus had padded feet.

How many bones did a Lurdusaurus have?

There is no estimate of the total number of bones that a typical member of the Lurdusaurus genus would have since the skeleton that was found from the Elrhaz formation was only partial. However, the bone structure in the feet does suggest that these animals had fewer bones than many other dinosaurs.

This may have been a way of creating buoyancy and staying afloat in water bodies.

How did they communicate?

The life of the Lurdusaurus (heavy lizard), including its call or any other way of communication that it may have adapted to, is yet to be described by any paleontologist. However, since these dinosaurs had such a large size and herbivorous diet, it is assumed that they might not have had an intimidating call.

Although, the call may have been loud all the same as any iguanodon.

How big was a Lurdusaurus?

The average length of this dinosaur of the Ornithopoda clade, based on the skeleton, would be around 30 ft (9 m), and the average height would be 6.56 ft (2 m).

How fast could a Lurdusaurus move?

There is little published information regarding the speed at which this iguanodont from gadoufaoua lower cretaceous of niger could move.

How much did a Lurdusaurus weigh?

The average weight of a Lurdusaurus would be of around 6.06 tons (5500 kg)!

What were the male and female names of the species?

Since no distinct names have been described for the two sexes of this member of the Ornithischia clade, we have decided to refer to them as the male Lurdusaurus and the female Lurdusaurus.

What would you call a baby Lurdusaurus?

The baby Lurdusaurus would be called a hatchling since the genus is described as an aquatic, herbivorous one.

What did they eat?

The diet of this iguanodont from gadoufaoua lower cretaceous of Niger, as well as other members of the clade Ornithopoda, is estimated to be herbivorous by many a paleontologist.

How aggressive were they?

Since the fossil remains of the genus tell us that these animals led a peaceful and herbivorous life, it is improbable that these animals of the clade Dinosauria would have been aggressive!

Did you know...

Lurdusaurus is related to Lanzhousaurus, Nigersaurus, Sarcosuchus and Ouranosaurus. It is assumed that this genus would have enjoyed the company of such related genera.

The Lurdusaurus size is quite larger than many ornithopods of the early cretaceous period.

The Lurdusaurus fossil remains tell us that this animal from the ancient history of earth had a long neck!

The genus was previously named Gravisaurus.

What does the name 'Lurdusaurus' mean?

The name of this animal of enormous weight and size is derived from the Latin word 'lurdus,' which means heavy, and 'saurus' which means lizard. Hence the name literally translates to 'heavy lizard'!

Could the Lurdusaurus swim?

While it is unclear if these dinosaurs could swim, we know that their weight and skeleton allowed them to stay afloat!

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable dinosaur-eating coloring pages.

*The second image is an illustration by Ghedo.

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Written by Shirin Biswas

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

Shirin Biswas picture

Shirin BiswasBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

With a degree in English from Amity University, Noida, Shirin has won awards for oratory, acting, and creative writing. She has a wealth of experience as an English teacher, editor, and writer, having previously worked at Quizzy and Big Books Publishing. Her expertise lies in editing study guides for children and creating engaging content.

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