FOR AGES 3-18
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The Zigongosaurus is a genus and it was first discovered in China (Asia)in 1970 and the meaning of their name is Zigong lizard. The Zigongosaurus Zigongosaurus has faced many opinions on its identity, some believe that they are the Mamenchisaurus. The Chinese paleontologists named the Zigongosaurus fossil of this dinosaur, and they were Hou, Chao, and Chu. It was discovered in Zigong province of China, and that’s how it has got its name. They were a 35 ft (10.66 m) long dinosaur of the Sauropod category and their weight was around 20 tonnes. They had a 30 ft (9.14 m) long neck, which alone covers most of their body length and huge fleshy legs and spoon-shaped teeth. Because of these teeth, they were able to eat grasses. The fossil of this dinosaur was very much similar to the lizard-hipped dinosaurs. These animals used to live in lowland habitats like wetlands, forests, and grasslands. There are theories that they were the prey of another type of dinosaur called Yangchuanosaurus. They were huge in size, but it is believed that they were not much smart for their size. According to a fossil study, their body-brain ratio was very less as compared to Stegosaurus. They had a very long tail which they used for their defense from other animals.
This long-neck dinosaur of clade Sauropodomorpha is very easy to pronounce. The Zigongosaurus pronunciation is 'zee-gong-aw-sore-us.' There has been a lot of confusion with the specifications of their genus, and some prefer to put it in Omeisaurus while some to Mamenchisaurus, and some to its own genus because of their very limited fossils discovered.
This Asian zigongosaurus animal is a Sauropod Dinosaur which is one of those animal categories that lived around the world and has many fossils of their existence. Just one continent Antarctica which does not have the pieces of evidence of the existence of Sauropods.
The Zigongosaurus lived during the middle Jurrasic Period and most of their fossils have been found in the Asian region or the then eastern sides of the Gondwana land. They existed about 158-155 million years ago.
The Sauropod Zigongosaurus (Zigong Lizard) became extinct roughly around 150 million years ago.
These dinosaurs were highly terrestrial animals and preferred areas of lowland moist regions. Their fossils were first discovered in the Chinese province of Zigong and since then they are called as Zigongosaurus based on the name of the province.
They were herbivores and so preferred to live in the regions of grasses and wetlands. These dinosaurs used to inhabit those areas where there was a good availability of water and green foliage was present, like forests, shorelines, semi-arid regions, grasslands, and farms.
According to the many fossils found of these animals, they had an active social behavior as compared to other types of dinosaurs. They used to travel to different terrestrial lands in search of food and water when their previous food supply gets depleted.
It is believed that the overall community of Sauropods lived for about 100 years, but the exact time range of Zingongosaurus is not known yet. They lived from Upper Jurrasic Epoch to 153.03 million years ago.
There is not much information available on the reproduction pattern of these heavy weighed Sauropods but the pattern of laying their eggs has been found. They used to lay eggs while walking in a linear motion on the ground. They didn't have any nest or a particular territory for that. They laid eggs in a linear motion and didn't have any parental care for the growing stage.
The features of this dinosaur are very similar to other long-neck dinosaurs. This dinosaur had a very long tail and an extremely long neck which was 80% of its body. They had very different types of spoon-shaped teeth, which helped them to tear long grasses and leaves. Their legs were very chubby and fleshy, almost like an elephant's legs. They had a quadrupedal body skeleton and had a simple body plan. That's why they are called Sauropods. The skull and brian had a very small shape and their nostrils were very high on their skulls.
The exact number of bones in the Zigongosaurus skeleton is not known yet. But Sauropods had 11-20 cervicles, which is a lot more than the mammal have.
There is not much information available on the communication ways of this dinosaur. Dinosaurs used to communicate verbally by producing many loud sounds for their mates. They used to rub their scales together to interact, clap jaws, grind their mandibles against their upper jaws to show anger or dominance, hissing, and splash water.
The Zigongosaurus size of clade Sauropodomorpha was about 50 ft (15 m) in length. The largest herbivore dinosaur the "Titanosaur" Argentinosaurus huinculensis" was about 118 ft (36 m) in length.
The Zigongosaurus was not able to move very fast unlike some other species of dinosaurs may be because of their insanely large size and body. The average speed at which Sauropods walked was 4.47 mph (7.19 kph).
The weight of this giant animal of the Jurassic age was 22.04 tons (20,000 kg). They were even much heavier than one of the heaviest animals on earth, the African Bush Elephant.
There are no specific names for the male and the female of this species.
The baby of this dinosaur does not have any particular name to get called by. They were called 'baby Zigongosaurus'. They used to lay the eggs here and there on the ground wherever they go and didn't look after the baby dinosaurs.
These animals were purely herbivores and mainly ate grasses, leaves, shrubs, herbs, vegetable leaves, and flowers.
There are not many pieces of evidence of these dinosaurs showing aggressive behavior. They used to move in small groups.
Zigongosaurus had a second brain like the Apatosaurus, Brachiosaurus, and Stegosaurus. It is believed that what might be confused as the brain was just an enlargement around the hip area in the spinal cord.
The fossils of the Zigongosaurus were found in the Asian region, mostly in the country 'China' of the largest continent Asia. Zigongosaurus was named by Hou, Chao, and the Chu in the year 1976. There have been around 24 specimens found by paleontologists.
The name Zigongosaurus means a 'Zigong's Lizard'. The Chinese district of Zigong was the place where they were found and hence the name.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable facts, check out these Zuniceratops facts and Heterodontosaurus facts pages.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Zigongosaurus dinosaur coloring pages.
Main image by Dmitry Bogdanov.
*We've been unable to source an image of Zigongosaurus and have used an image of Barapasuarus instead as the main image. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Zigongosaurus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected]