Fun Mussaurus Facts For Kids

Monika Sharma
Nov 22, 2022 By Monika Sharma
Originally Published on Sep 17, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Mussaurus facts are about these dinosaurs with a very long tail.

Dinosaurs of both kinds, herbivores and carnivores, can be seen living together around some million years ago. The herbivore dinosaur from the late Triassic period was a little less dangerous compared to the ferocious meat-eating dinosaurs.

One such plant-eating dinosaur genus is the Mussaurus, it's a type of Sauropodomorpha. Their name has a very interesting meaning behind it, Mussaurus means 'mouse lizard'. At present, we only have the skeletons of infants and juveniles of this species, which are very small.

This is why we call them mouse lizards. A lot about the adults is unknown and we only have assumptions when we talk about the size and age of these specimens, as we only have the fossils of infants.

The fossils of this dinosaur are a part of our history only because Jose Bonaparte discovered the Mussaurus fossils. Their large team even found the eggs and hatchlings of these sauropods in Argentina.

The first adult dinosaur came into the public eye in 2013, while some of them have been talked about since 1980.

The discovery of Mussaurus dinosaurs is a blessing to the phylum, as before that it was difficult to establish the position of infants and adults on the taxon.

Later on, a range of features were discovered, and a few subadults and three adult specimen fossils were put under the Mussaurus genus. The basal traits and their snouts were the key to finding the phylum for infant and adult dinosaurs.

To learn more about such incredible animals make sure to check out our article on Skorpiovenator and Glacialisaurus.

Mussaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Mussaurus'?

This dinosaur walks on all four limbs and their infants have around 6 in (15.24 cm) long tails. They lived during the Triassic period of history and as complete fossils have been recovered, scientists made a full life restoration model of the adult Mussaurus.

It's very easy to pronounce this dinosaur with short snouts. 'MUSS-aa-SAURUS' is the way to pronounce this dinosaur.

What type of dinosaur was a Mussaurus?

After studying the specimens of Mussaurus, they are believed to not be a dinosaur. They are more closely related to the reptiles of today's age such as snakes and monitor lizards.

These dinosaurs lived during the late Triassic period and faced extinction at the end of the Cretaceous period. The M. patagonicus is a type of Sauropodomorpha and they have small tails and necks.

In which geological period did the Mussaurus roam the earth?

Various channels and websites speak about the research of Bonaparte on the juvenile and infants of this genus family. The discovery of eggs and hatchlings is very helpful to trace back the history of this sauropod dinosaur.

They lived around 228 million years ago. Their history starts from the late Triassic period, during that time a Mussaurus dinosaurio lived in southern Argentina and even some parts of America as well.

When did the Mussaurus become extinct?

Around a million years ago during the mass extinction of dinosaurs, all dinosaur genuses faced extinction. It's known that the large extinction events was due to various natural factors, such as asteroid collision, volcanic eruption, and even tsunamis.

Where did a Mussaurus live?

This plant-eating prosauropod dinosaur, also known as the mouse lizard, lived in southern Argentina and America. Their history reveals a lot about their habitat and behavioral traits. The body size of the juvenile is not very large and according to Bonaparte, these dinosaurs also have a relationship with sauropods.

What was a Mussaurus' habitat?

This discovered species is related to a range of dinosaurs that once lived on this planet. We can trace back their habitat by following the behavior traits of this dinosaur and other plant-eating dinosaurs.

The Mussaurus loved dense vegetation as it provided enough food for them. Studies on skeletons show that they did not rely on meat for survival. Dense forests near lakes were the perfect habitat conditions for this dinosaur.

Who did a Mussaurus live with?

Very little information is present on this topic about the M. patagonicus. Scientists don't know if they lived in groups or alone, although they showed their relationship with true sauropods. Current day animals or reptiles such as coral snakes and yellow anaconda share close relationships with this dinosaur.

How long did a Mussaurus live?

Sources such as reference papers and websites on the following dinosaur reveals that they had a lifespan of around 10-18 years.

How did they reproduce?

The eggs which were recovered from these long-lived dinosaurs put a lot of insight into their reproductive life. They form nests like lizards and snakes and lay multiple eggs.

It is surprising how their eggs are almost an size equal to a lizard. The young were very vulnerable during birth and parental care was given to them by the adults.

Mussaurus Fun Facts

What did a Mussaurus look like?

The adults were long and big in size, the juvenile had small skulls and short snouts, along with big large eyes. They had a long tail and they walked on all four limbs, although the other two were very often used to hold onto trees while eating plants.

Their neck was long like sauropods and their skull was remarkably small.

The underparts of their neck were yellow in color.

How many bones did a Mussaurus have?

They had limb bones and pelvic bones which were like most sauropods. The complete number of bones is not known and this information is currently not known.

How did they communicate?

Dinosaurs of all kinds are capable of communicating across various channels. The Mussaurus could communicate through the tail, or through various visual sign interpretations. They could also efficiently communicate through voice calls as well. It is very common in dinosaurs to communicate through vocal calls, like modern-day mammals.

How big was a Mussaurus?

The average Mussaurus size was big and they weighed around 2,200 lb (1000 kg). Although the assumption of the adult size is strictly based on the size of the infants and juveniles.

Adult fossils are not present and they have not been discovered so far. On the other hand, we have fossils of their infants and juveniles. We can compare this dinosaur with any current day animal to understand their size better.

We can say that a western black rhinoceros is around five to six times smaller than an adult Mussaurus. A great white shark is around three times smaller than this dinosaur.

How fast could a Mussaurus move?

This mouse lizard moved moderately fast. We can assume that due to their heavy weight, it would have been difficult for them to move very fast but they were not too slow either.

How much did a Mussaurus weigh?

A Mussaurus weighed around 2,200 lb (1000 kilograms).

What were the male and female names of the species?

Both males and females had the same features and also shared the same body anatomy. There is absolutely no need to assign different names for the sexes. They are addressed with the same name.

What would you call a baby Mussaurus?

A baby dinosaur is known as a hatchling or a nestling. They are very close to current day snakes and lizards. Their egg sizes were about the same as a small lizard. It's not surprising that their young shared the same marks as the young of reptiles.

What did they eat?

This genus of dinosaurs was a herbivore and their survival entirely depended on eating plants. Researchers believe that they also ate some fruits and seeds from time to time to build their nutrition needs.

How aggressive were they?

No, they were not aggressive. They were quiet and often spent time either eating or sleeping. This dinosaur was not fierce, like other meat-eating dinosaurs.

Did you know...

The tail region of their body was surprisingly long and it is curved downwards towards the end.

When was the Mussaurus discovered?

The fossils of this dinosaur were discovered during the late '70s. A lot of information about them was known around early 2003.

What is the biggest dinosaur?

The largest dinosaur known currently is the massive titanosaur Argentinosaurus huinculensis. They also lived in Argentina and were found in 1970. They had very long necks and were almost 50-60 times bigger than an elephant. The smallest dinosaur was the Oculudentavis khaungraae.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other creatures from our vine snake facts and gray rat snake facts pages.

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

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Written by Monika Sharma

Bachelor of Science specializing in Electronics and Telecommunication

Monika Sharma picture

Monika SharmaBachelor of Science specializing in Electronics and Telecommunication

With a passion for crafting engaging and informative content, Monika brings a wealth of writing experience to our team. Her Bachelors in Electronics and Telecommunications from Symbiosis Institute Of Technology adds a unique perspective to her work, allowing her to effectively communicate complex ideas in a clear and concise manner. Over the past two years, Monika has perfected her writing skills through her roles as a content writer, content manager, and digital marketer for reputable companies in both the USA and India. This hands-on experience has provided her with a deep understanding of industry trends and best practices, ensuring that the content she produces is always of the highest quality. She stays current with the latest field developments,continuously refining her skills to deliver exceptional content.

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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

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Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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