Fun Thotobolosaurus Facts For Kids

Akinwalere Olaleye
Nov 28, 2022 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on Sep 23, 2021
One of the interesting Thotobolosaurus facts is that it was a giant herbivorous dinosaur.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.1 Min

The Thotobolosaurus dinosaur was first discovered in the year 1930 in Lesotho's Bethesda village by a school principal named Samuel Motsoane. The dinosaur was properly discovered by brothers Paul and François Ellenberger in the year 1955 in the Maphutseng village's lower Elliot Formation in Lesotho.

This Lesotho location was a trash heap called Thotobolo ea 'Ma-Beata'. The dinosaur has more recently been named Kholumolumo, which is its more common name, pronounced as 'Ko-lum-oh-lu-mo'.

The Thotobolosaurus was a massopodan and a sauropodomorph, bearing close relations to the Sarahsaurus. It roamed the earth from the Norian age of the Late Triassic period.

It only went extinct 201.3 million years before today. The Thotobolosaurus is thought to have been a huge creature, measuring over 29.5-32.8 ft (9-10 m) long.

It is also believed to be herbivorous, eating things like plants, leaves, and twigs. The Thotobolosaurus probably had a lifespan of 70-80 years and lived in the grasslands with many lakes and rivers.

For more relatable content, check out these Quaesitosaurus facts and Puertasaurus facts for kids.

Thotobolosaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Thotobolosaurus'?

Thotobolosaurus is the former name of the Kholumolumo dinosaur. Thotobolosaurus is pronounced as 'tho-toe-bo-low-saw-rus'. 'Kholumolumo' is pronounced as 'Ko-lum-oh-lu-mo'.

What type of dinosaur was a Thotobolosaurus?

The Thotobolosaurus or Kholumolumo was a sauropodomorph and massopodan dinosaur. The animal is thought to have been closely related to the Sarahsaurus.

In which geological period did the Thotobolosaurus roam the earth?

The Thotobolosaurus roamed the Earth from the Norian age in the Late Triassic period and up to 201.3 million years before today.

When did the Thotobolosaurus become extinct?

The Thotobolosaurus dinosaur became extinct 201.3 million years ago.

Where did the Thotobolosaurus live?

Thotobolosaurus genus prosauropods are from the lower Elliot formation near the present-day area of Maphutseng, Lesotho. Fossils of this animal have also been found in the Free State province area of South Africa.

Dispersed bones and fossils were first found in 1930 by a school principal named Samuel Motsoane in Lesotho's Bethesda. In 1955, a missionary, Paul Ellenberger, and a brother of his, François Ellenberger, uncovered a bed of bones close to the Maphutseng village in western Lesotho, in one of the layers of the Elliot Formation.

What was the Thotobolosaurus's habitat?

The Thotobolosaurus probably inhabited grasslands that had an abundance of intermittent lakes as well as rivers.

Who did a Thotobolosaurus live with?

It can't be said with certainty whether Thotobolosaursus dinosaurs lived alone or with others of their kind. But since fossils were found in a bone bed, they may have lived together.

How long did a Thotobolosaurus live?

Since the Tholobolosaurus was a big herbivore, it can be estimated to have lived for 70-80 years.

How did they reproduce?

There has been some debate about the mating practices of dinosaurs like Thotobolosaurs, but much of the research has been speculative. But being reptiles, they reproduced by mating and laying eggs.

Thotobolosaurus Fun Facts

What did the Thotobolosaurus look like?

The holotype of the Thotobolosaurus dinosaur was discovered in an Elliot Formation site, dating from the Norian, Late Triassic period. The holotype was made up of a shinbone or a full right tibia.

Fossils that arrived in Paris in 1959 have some other bones designated as paratypes. In South Africa and Lesotho, just disarticulated bones of five to ten individuals have been found, which includes the material of the skull. Thotobolosaurs were one of the biggest sauropodomorphs, which made them one of the largest creatures of the Norian period.

This dinosaur was bipedal, meaning it had two limbs for walking. Its massive size and weight have been evidenced by the circumference of its thigh bone.

The holotype of the Thotobolosaurus is unique in its combination of features, but its features aren't unique themselves.

The shinbone of the Thotobolosaurus is strong and short and its circumference is about 53% of the total length. In other non-sauropod Sauropodomorpha dinosaurs, the ratio of the circumference to the length of the shinbone is less than 0.49, with Blikanasaurus and Antetonitrus being exceptions.

The shaft of the shinbone tends to taper downwards when seen from the inside as well as the outside. The rear and front edge of the shinbone shaft has a straight edge, unlike that of the Antetonitrus.

The Thotobolosaurus size is estimated to have been around 32.8 ft (10 m).
*We've been unable to source an image of a Thotobolosaurus and have used an image of a Brontosaurus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a Thotobolosaurus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at

How many bones did a Thotobolosaurus have?

The exact number of bones in the body of Thotobolosaurus dinosaurs is not known since only disarticulated and separate bones have ever been found.

How did they communicate?

The way the Thotobolosaurus communicated is completely speculative. It is believed that like other dinosaurs, the Thotobolosaurus probably communicated via visual and vocal cues. They may have uttered grunts, hoots, and bellows. Defensive posturing, mating displays, and territorial fights may have also formed the basis of their communicative abilities.

How big was a Thotobolosaurus?

A Thotobolosaurus could have been 29.5-32.8 ft (9-10 m) long, which makes it about five times bigger than Lesothosaurus dinosaurs.

How fast could a Thotobolosaurus move?

Being a large prosauropod dinosaur, the Thotobolosaurus could probably move at speeds of 4.5 mph (7.2 kph).

How much did a Thotobolosaurus weigh?

The Thotobolosaurus weight is thought to have been around 3,867 lb (1,754 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

Male and female Thotobolosaurus dinosaurs did not have specific names, but generally 'saurus' is considered the male form of a dinosaur's name, and the female form is 'saura'.

What would you call a baby Thotobolosaurus?

Since it hatched from an egg, it could be called both a hatchling and a nestling.

What did they eat?

Thotobolosaurus dinosaurs were herbivorous creatures who fed on plants, bark, and twigs.

How aggressive were they?

The evidence to indicate the level of their aggression is insufficient, but they may have been territorial.

Did you know...

Thotobolosaurus isn't one dinosaur, but a prosauropod dinosaur genus.

The Thotobolosaurs was previously called 'Thotobolosaurus mabeatae' which was changed to 'Kholumolumosaurus ellenbergerorum' but this name didn't stick either. The present name of the Thotobolosaurus mabeatae dinosaur genus is 'Kholumolumo ellenbergerorum' which honors the Ellenberger family who helped to define these prosauropods.

The Elliot Formation is a prominent structure that consists of many stratified rocks. It consists mainly of sandstone and mudstone. Numerous dinosaur fossils have been discovered in the Elliot Formation including those of the Plateosaurus, the Coelophysis, the Lesothosaurus, and the Euskelosaurus.

What does 'Thotobolosaurus' mean?

The Lesotho location where remains and fossils of the Thotobolosaurus were initially discovered was known as the 'Thotobolo ea 'Ma-Beata'' which translates to 'Beata's mother's trash heap'. Paleontologists from South Africa, Rosali F. Ewer and Alfred Walter Crompton, reinforced the discovery in 1955.

It was Paul Ellenberger that first called the dinosaur 'Thotobolosaurus mabeatae' in 1970 which meant 'the lizard from the trash heap'. The final generic name is 'Kholumolumosaurus ellenbergerorum.'

How were Thotobolosaurus dinosaurs discovered?

Disparate bones and fossils of the Thotobolosaurus dinosaur were discovered by the principal of a school in Lesotho's Bethesda village area. The name of the principal was Samuel Motsoane and the year was 1930.

In 1955, Paul Ellenberger, a missionary, along with his brother François Ellenberger, uncovered an entire bed of Thotobolosaurus bones close to western Lesotho's Maphutseng village, in the lower Elliot Formation.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other dinosaurs from our Analong interesting facts and Rapetosaurus fun facts for kids pages.

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


Main image by Charles Nye.

Second image by Tom Parker.

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

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Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Akinwalere Olaleye picture

Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

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