Fun Huayangosaurus Facts For Kids

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Jan 30, 2023 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Sep 28, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Amazing Huayangosaurus facts that you will enjoy.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.1 Min

Huayangosaurus was one of the medium-sized stegosaurs with primitive identification features that thrived in the Late Jurassic period. Only one species is known, Huayangosaurus taibaii. Huayangosaurus name means 'Sichuan lizard', which was given by Tang, Dong, and Zhou in 1982. The discovery of this species was made between 1979 and 1980. The remains of this animal were recovered from the Dashanpu Quarry near Zigong in Sichuan. The classification of the Huayangosaurus taibaii is as follows: Animalia, Chordata, Dinosauria, Ornithischia, Stegosauria, and Huayangosaurus. According to the Natural History Museum, it is a basal stegosaur that is placed in the family Huayangosauridae. However, it is somewhat different from later forms of stegosaurids.

The skull was broader and possessed teeth in the front of its lips. Although, all later stegosaurians lost these front teeth. The length of H. taibaii was much shorter than other stegosaurs. In the skeletal system, there were plates on its back. It had two giant spikes on its hips, which could be used to counter an attack from above. Paleontology suggested that the H. taibaii grew from the Lower Shaximiao Formation in the Dashanpu Quarries in Sichuan Province, China. Related to the later relative Stegosaurus, its skull was more widespread, expressing that it was a plant-eater and had no special choice in its diet. Its upright armor and spurs must have protected the H. taibaii from various dangerous predators, but could also be utilized for display, perhaps to draw the attention of a partner. The plates could also be used to regulate their body temperature. It probably reproduced by laying eggs.

To know more about other dinosaur species, you can also visit these Zuniceratops and Incisivosaurus.

Huayangosaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Huayangosaurus'?

Huayangosaurus pronunciation is 'Hu-a-yan-go-sau-rus'. The name Huayangosaurus has been derived from 'Huayang' which is another name for the province Sichuan where the dinosaur was discovered, and 'saurus', which means 'lizard'. Therefore, the Huayangosaurus name means 'Sichuan lizard'.

What type of dinosaur was a Huayangosaurus?

Huayangosaurus was a genus of stegosaurian creatures that lived in the Middle Jurassic of Asia (China). A tiny species of stegosaur, Huayangosaurus, is easier to hold than its relatives and is one of the earliest stegosaurs available to the Hammond Foundation. It belongs to the family Huayangosauridae.

In which geological period did the Huayangosaurus roam the earth?

Huayangosaurus was a member of the stegosauria group that thrived in the Middle Jurassic of China about 165 million years ago. Only a single species has been discovered which is known as Huayangosaurus taibaii.

When did the Huayangosaurus become extinct?

The Huayangosaurus survived in the Middle Jurassic era, from Bathonian to Callovian stages, about 165 million years ago. It became extinct from Earth some 20 million years before its famous cousin and Stegosaurus arrived in North America. The height of the H.taibaii was nearly 14.76 ft (4.5 m), much shorter than its famous relative.

Where did a Huayangosaurus live?

Paleontology suggests that the oldest known stegosaur, Huayangsaurus, came from the Lower Shaximiao Formation in the Dashanpu Quarries in Sichuan Province, China. Compared with the later cousin Stegosaurus, its skull was broader, symbolizing that it was a plant-eater and had no choice in its diet. It also had teeth in the front of its beak-like lips, a feature usually observed in primitive dinosaurs. It was one of several stegosaurs located in Dashanpu. Other stegosaurs located here, although in more recent rocks, include Tuojiangsaurus, Chungkingosaurus, and Giant Spinosaurus, the second one being direct descendants of the Huayangosaurus. The type species Huayangosaurus taibaii was found in Hua Yang, which is today known as Dashanpu Quarry near Zigong in Sichuan Province in China. The specific name 'Taibaii' is derived from the poet named Tai Bai, who lived in Sichuan, China.

What was a Huayangosaurus's habitat?

Huayangsaurus was a Chinese dinosaur that lived with many other types of dinosaurs during the Jurassic period, including Yandusaurus and Agileosaurus, as well as sauropod dinosaurs. The carnivores at this location included the fast-speed Gasosaurus and Yangchuansaurus subspecies Zigongensis, the latter being the top predator of the Jurassic era in the Chinese region and posing a threat to the Huayangsaurus. H. taibaii range was limited to the landscape with lakes, rivers, and dense vegetation.

Who did a Huayangosaurus live with?

The Huayangosaurus was found in the Lower Shaximiao Formation and shared its landscape with other dinosaurs, including Omeisaurus, Shunosaurus, Protognathosaurus, Datousaurus, the carnivorous Gasosaurus, and the ornithopod Xiaosaurus. They might have lived in pairs or in small groups.

How long did a Huayangosaurus live?

The lifespan of the Huayangosaurus dinosaur has not been identified yet.

How did they reproduce?

No information has been published regarding the reproduction of Huayangosaurus dinosaurs. It is believed they produced by laying eggs.

Huayangosaurus Fun Facts

What did a Huayangosaurus look like?

Like its other relatives, such as stegosaurians, the Huayangosaurus fossil description suggests that they were four-legged herbivores with a tiny skull and spiked tail. It had distinctive identification features. It possessed numerous types of osteoderms. Just like its most famous cousin, the Stegosaur, the Huayangosaurus had the unique double row of spiky plates that are present in all stegosaurians. These plates lied vertically along the arched back. Huayangosaurus plates were more spike-like than its relative. It also had two pairs of long spikes stretched horizontally around the tip of its tail. Behind the tail, there were pairs of spikes that formed the so-called 'thagomizer', a protective weapon. Each wing had a row of smaller bony skins that formed a long spine in the front, curved in the back. The spiky plates would have protected the animal from an attack by its predator. The dinosaur was one of the tiniest known stegosaurians, with a length of nearly 15 ft (4.57 m). However, Huayangosaurus height is unknown. It had a beak-like mouth with teeth that were lost in later stegosaurs.

Huayangosaurus had spiny bodies with a green and red coloration.

How many bones did a Huayangosaurus have?

The exact amount of bones in the Huayangosaurus skeleton is unknown. The skull of a Huayangosaurus was short. In the Huayangosaurus skeletal system, there were plates on its back and rows of spikes on its tail. It had two large spikes on its hips, which could be used to prevent an attack from above. Its plates were shorter than that of the stegosaurus, with a much smaller surface area. Therefore, their thermal regulators were much less efficient, which was one of the main purposes. These plates were the main identification features of this creature. Its vertical armor and spurs could have protected it from numerous dangerous predators, but could also have been used for display, perhaps to attract a partner. They could also be used to regulate their body temperature. However, these plates appeared to be too thick, which was very favorable for the dinosaur. Of course, the spikes on an animal's tail would have kept its enemies away.

The Huayangosaurus taibaii body description consists of an incomplete skeleton. Its fossil classification contains a comparatively complete skull, three cervical vertebrae, four sacral vertebrae, three back vertebrae, twenty coccyx vertebrae, three phalanges, two metatarsals, three plates, one spike, and three more skin bones. A whole skeleton, including a skull, eight cervical vertebrae, 16 dorsal, four sacrums, 35 coccyx, a full shoulder strap, a left humerus, and two iliac bones, one left pubic bone, two ischia, three metatarsals, three phalanges, and 11 plates.

How did they communicate?

No data has been available about how the Huayangosaurus communicated.

How big was a Huayangosaurus?

The total Huayangosaurus size was about 15 ft (4.57 m), which is around 20 times larger than the Ganges river dolphin.

How fast could a Huayangosaurus move?

The Huayangosaurus must have had a moderate moving speed. It is also estimated that they may have had a similar speed as the reticulated giraffe.

How much did a Huayangosaurus weigh?

A Huayangosaurus weighed around 2204.62-6613.86 lb (1000-3000 kg), which is 50 times heavier and bigger than a walrus.

What were the male and female names of the species?

No specific names have been used to describe a male and female Huayangosaurus dinosaur.

What would you call a baby Huayangosaurus?

A baby Huayangosaurus would have been known as a young.

What did they eat?

H.taibaii was a herbivore and its diet consisted of plant material.

How aggressive were they?

No information is available regarding the aggressiveness or other behavior of the H.taibaii.

Did you know...

In both the Zigong Dinosaur Museum in Zigong City and the Chongqing Museum in Sichuan Province, China, the installed Huayang skeletons of Huayangosaurus are on display.

What can the Huayangosaurus live with?

H.taibaii used to live alone or with other dinosaurs, such as Omeisaurus, Shunosaurus, Protognathosaurus, Datousaurus, the carnivorous Gasosaurus, and the ornithopod Xiaosaurus in a small group of three to four individuals.

Who discovered the Huayangosaurus?

The discovery of the Huayangosaurus dinosaur was made by unknown people. However, it was named and described by three paleontologists Dong, Tang, and Zhou in 1982.

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 Velociraptor facts and Tupuxuara facts pages.

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

Main image by Nobu Tamura

Second image by AdInfinitum

Huayangosaurus Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Plant materials

what Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?

Around 20 eggs

What Did They Look Like?

Small head and spiny back

How Much Did They Weigh?

2204.62-6613.86 lb (1000-3000 kg)

Skin Type


How Long Were They?

15 ft (4.57 m)

How Tall Were They?










Scientific Name

Huayangosaurus taibaii

What Were Their Main Threats?


What Habitat Did They Live In?


Where Did They Live?

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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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