Fun Janenschia Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Feb 20, 2024 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Nov 18, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.5 Min

Janenschia (Janenschia robusta) is a type of dinosaur that lived during the Late Jurassic period and its fossils are discovered from the Tendaguru Formation or Africa. The Janenschia is a type of large herbivorous sauropod dinosaur that lived on earth during the Late Jurassic period. The remains of the dinosaur indicate that it was a part of the stage before the Cretaceous period began. This herbivore sauropod order was classified under the suborder saurischia sauropodomorpha. The fossil of Janenschia suggests that it was the earliest known genus related to the Titanosaurids.

In 1907,  Fraas while exploring the Tendaguru Formation in Africa came across two gigantic fossil collections. Each fossil was recognized to be the fossil of a sauropod dinosaur. However, they were not named Janenschia right at the time of their discovery. When Fraas discovered the dinosaur fossil, he named the dinosaur genus Gigantosaurus owing to the large size of the sauropod. Later, the name turned out to be disputed since a taxon named Gigantosaurus already existed in the past. So Richard Sternfeld insisted on including them under the genus Tornieria. To know more about this dinosaur, keep on reading these amazing facts.

For related content check out the articles on Brachytrachelopan and Quaesitosaurus facts too.

Janenschia Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Janenschia'?

Janenschia is one of the few dinosaurs that do not have the suffix Saurus in their name and Janenschia pronunciation sounds like 'Ya-nen-she-a' in English.

What type of dinosaur was a Janenschia?

Since each and every dinosaur that belongs to the Sauropoda clade is a type of Saurischia dinosaur, the Janenschia (Janenschia robusta) is naturally a type of Saurischian dinosaur. A Saurischia refers to the lizard-hipped dinosaurs that are considered to be the ancestors of modern-day birds. The remains of the dinosaur indicate that they had a very long neck and tail. All of them followed a herbivorous diet. A plant-eating Sauropoda, having a long neck, and eating plants were further classified as Saurischia Sauropodomorpha. Finally, this herbivore sauropod of the superclade Dinosauria and class Reptilia was classified to be a part of the Titanosaurid family consisting of large plant-eating sauropods. Thye belong to the genus Janenschia.

In which geological period did the Janenschia roam the earth?

The Janenschia (Janenschia robusta) roamed around the earth during the Late Jurassic period. The Janenschia temporal range lasted from the Kimmeridgian stage up to the Tithonian stage of the Late Jurassic period. The remains of the dinosaur indicate that it was a part of the stage before the Cretaceous period began. The Kimmeridgian stage started around 158 million years ago while the Tithonian age ended approximately around 145 million years ago. The Janenschia temporal range fell in the middle of these two geological stages.

When did Janenschia become extinct?

The Janenschia (Janenschia robusta) came into existence around 154 million years ago, lasted for three million years, and became extinct around 151 million years ago. The fossil of this dinosaur was discovered in 1907.

Where did Janenschia live?

The Janenschia fossil remains were discovered from the Tendaguru Formation of Tanzania in Africa. They lived in Africa during the Janenschia temporal range.

What was the Janenschia's habitat?

The Janenschia preferred to live in terrestrial habitats. They required a good amount of plant diet each day to survive. So it is assumed that they lived in forests.

Who did Janenschia live with?

A herbivore dinosaur of the Sauropoda order generally traveled in herds. However, in the case of a Janenschia dinosaur, no bonebeds have been discovered. So it is considered to be a solitary dinosaur in nature.

How long did Janenschia live?

The Janenschia existed from 151-154 million years ago on earth. They lasted for about three million years on earth.

How did they reproduce?

There is very limited information regarding the breeding behavior of the dinosaur. Like all species of dinosaurs, the Janenschia also reproduced by laying eggs. They performed oviparous reproduction.

Janenschia Fun Facts

What did Janenschia look like?

The anatomy of the Janenschia dinosaur is not well described since only partial fossils have been recovered. From the fossil, it can be inferred that it had a long neck and long tail. Their hindlegs ended in claws and had four thick legs for walking.

Janenschia pronunciation is 'Ya-nen-she-a'.

How many bones did a Janenschia have?

The total number of boned present in the body of the Janenschia is unknown. Only a portion of their bones has been recovered which includes two forelimbs and three hindlimbs with claws, partial cranial bone, back vertebrae, and tail vertebrae.

How did they communicate?

The Janenschia was a dinosaur and like all dinosaurs, it also communicated through vocalizations and visualizations.

How big was Janenschia?

The length of the Janenschia ranged between 49-79 ft (15-24 m). The Janenschia height is unknown. They were a few feet smaller than Adamantisaurus.

How fast could a Janenschia move?

The Janenschia was a very slow-moving dinosaur because of its huge size. They moved using four legs however their speed is unknown.

How much did a Janenschia weigh?

The Janenschia was a very large animal that weighed around 33 ton (30,000 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

The male and the female dinosaurs do not have any particular names. Both of them were referred to as Janenschia.

What would you call a baby Janenschia?

A baby Janenschia is referred to as a nestling or hatchling.

What did they eat?

The Janenschia was a herbivorous dinosaur. There is no particular information regarding the Janenschia diet, however it is believed that they fed on grass, plants, leaves, and shrubs.

How aggressive were they?

Even though the Janenschia size looked intriguing and made them look scary, in reality, they were not as aggressive as the meat-eating dinosaur species. Their diet included plant matters only therefore they did not hunt neither did they prey on other species.

Did you know...

Sometimes, the Janenschia used their tail as a third leg to help them get through tall vegetations while grazing.

Why are they called Janenschia?

The Janenschia is one of the genera of the Dinosauria clade and Reptilia class that had a convoluted history behind their name. The genus Janenschia named after  Werner Janensch who collected some additional material of Janenschia fossil from the Tendaguru Formation was not always called so.

In 1907, Eberhard Fraas while exploring found fossils of two gigantic dinosaurs lying in the southeast direction of the Tendaguru hill. These fossils of these two dinosaurs were assumed to belong to the Sauropoda order under the Dinosauria clade because of its enormous size. Fraas after studying the fossils at a German lab decided to recognize the recovered fossils as two separate species that belonged to the same genus. He decided to call the genus Gigantosaurus in 1908, owing to their giant and robust structure. One of them was known as Gigantosaurus Africanus while the type species was named Gigantosaurus robustus. Apart from the currently known Janenschia named Gigantosaurus at that time, there was a pre-existing taxon having the name Gigantosaurus with the type species Gigantosaurus megalonyx. However, both of them were not related and completely differed from each other. Janenschia named Gigantosaurus had no similarity with the species of this taxon, which led to further confusion. In 1911, Richard Sternfeld changed the name of the genus Gigantosaurus into Tornieria. Tornieria africana was selected to be the type species of this new genus while Giganosaurus robustus was placed as Tornieria robusta in the genus. This sudden change in the name was not smooth and it was also said the Sternfeld changed the name without the proper consent from Fraas. Werner Janensch, after whom the genus Janenschia was named did not agree to call the fossils Tornieria robusta, instead continued calling them Gigantosaurus. According to Janensch, G. megalonyx was a nomen dubium and a forgotten species and he consistently referred to these sauropod dinosaurs as Gigantosaurus for his entire work life.

In 1928, Tornieria robusta was reassigned to the genus Barosaurus and was renamed as Barosaurus robustus. By 1930, the type species of the Gigantosaurus taxon, G. megalonyx could not be considered as a nomen dubium so the name G. robustus also could not be used. Finally, in 1991, the German paleontologist Rupert Wild clarified the scientific

classification of the sauropod. Rupert Wild by studying their fossils also clarified that the taxonomic structure of this dinosaur was not related to the members of Tornieria. Therefore, Wild suggested the name Janenschia in honor of Warner Janensch who spent a big part of his career studying their fossils. This sauropod was also included in the family Titanosauridae by Wild in 1991. The genus Janenschia named by Wild was accepted all over the world.

Who discovered Janenschia?

Originally, the fossil remains of the Janenschia were discovered by the German geologist  Eberhard Fraas. Werner Janensch who took an active part in the discovery of the fossil of this Saurischia Sauropodomorpha strongly opposed the proposition to consider them as one of the members of Tornieria and kept on calling then Gigantosaurus. When in 1930, the species of the original Gigantosaurus taxon gained popularity the Janenschia could not be called Gigantosaurus anymore. Several genera had been assigned to this sauropod since then until Rupert Wild classified the dinosaur as a distinct species. Wild gave the name Janenschia to the genus with the type species named Janenschia robusta.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Analong facts and Volgatitan facts pages.

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

*The second image is by Funkmonk.

Fun Janenschia Facts For Kids

How Much Did They Weigh?

33 ton (30,000 kg)

Skin Type

Scales

How Long Were They?

49-79 ft (15-24 m)

How Tall Were They?

N/A

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Reptilia

Genus

Janenschia

Family

Titanosauridae

Scientific Name

Janenschia robusta

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters
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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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