Thursday, 14 January 2016

Spinophorosaurus nigerensis

Spinophorosaurus is a basal sauropod from the Middle Jurassic of Niger. Known from two almost complete skeletons, it is to date the most complete basal sauropod discovered. It has a number of features that make it a close relative of the Asian basal sauropods such as Shunosaurus, rahter than to the Gondwanan genera. Spiky osteoderms found in association with the skeletons were probably placed at the end of the tail in the living animal to serve as a defense against predators.

Spinophorosaurus nigerensis

Remes, Ortega, Fierro, Joger, Kosma and Ferrer, 2009

Meaning of generic name
The genus name refers to the presence of spikebearing osteoderms, Latin spina, spike, Greek phoro, to bear, and sauros, lizard

Meaning of specific name
[from Niger]

Length: 13 m

Holotype (GCP-CV-4229 and NMB-1699-R): partial skull and nearly complete postcranial skeleton.

Paratype: NMB-1698-R, a partial skull and incomplete postcranial skeleton.

Age and Distribution
Horizon: base of the Irhazer Group, possibly Middle Jurassic (Bajocian-Bathonian) or even Lower Jurassic.

Locality: Thirozerine Dept., Agadez Region, Republic of Niger.

Dinosauria Saurischia Sauropoda

Further Reading
Remes, K., Ortega, F., Fierro, I., Joger, U., Kosma, R. and Ferrer, J.M.M. 2009. A new basal sauropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of Niger and the early evolution of sauropoda. PLoS ONE, 4(9): e6924.

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