Lurdusaurus ‭(‬heavy lizard‭)

Short Info

Lurdusaurus ‭(‬heavy lizard‭)

Phonetic : Lur-du-sore-us.

Named By : P.‭ ‬Taquet‭ & ‬D.‭ ‬A.‭ ‬Russell‭ ‬-‭ ‬1999

Diet : Herbivore

Size : Estimated 9 meters long

Type of Dinosaur : Euornithopod

Type Species : L.‭ ‬arenatus‭ (‬type‭)‬

Found in : Niger‭ ‬-‭ ‬Elhraz Formation

When it Lived : Early Cretaceous, 121-112 million years ago

Lurdusaurus, also known as “heavy lizard”, is a genus consisting of large and unusually shaped iguanodonts dinosaurs from the Elrhaz Formation of Niger. It only contains L. arenatus. It was formed in the Early Cretaceous about 112 million years ago. Lurdusaurus is a very unusual iguanodont with a small skull and long neck. It also has powerful forelimbs. The thumb spike and metacarpals of Lurdusaurus are incredibly large and fused to a block. The hand would have been able to function almost as a ball-and chain flail. Lurdusaurus was 9m (30ft) in length and 2m (6ft 7in) high when it was on all fours. However, its stomach would have been just 70cm (2ft 4in) above the ground. It could have weighed in at 5,500 kg (12.100 lb), which is quite heavy for an iguanodontid of this size.

Thomas R. Holtz Jr., a paleontologist, speculates that Lurdusaurus might have behaved like a hippo. It was found in a riverine forest environment with the iguanodonts Ouranosaurus & Valdosaurus as well as the sauropod Nigersaurus and the spinosaurid Suchomimus. It also contained several species of crocodylomorphs and a pterosaur.

Philippe Taquet, a 1965 holotype specimen, discovered it at the Gadoufaoua Site of the Elrhaz Formation in the Tenere desert, Niger. It is composed of an almost complete adult iguanodont skull with a fragmentary skull that belonged to a single individual. The catalogue number MNHN GDF1700 was assigned to it. It was quite large and he noted that it should be classified as a new genus. He also briefly described the material in 1976. The remains were described by Paleontologist Souad Chabli in 1988, for her PhD thesis. She was working under Taquet. It was named “Gravisaurus Tenerensis”. Her dissertation was never published. Turquet and Dale Russell, an American paleontologist, published the first formal description of the fossil in 1999. They named it Lurdusaurus Arenatus. In reference to the huge weight of the fossils, the generic name is Latin lurdus which means “heavy” in Latin and Ancient Greek sauros which means “lizard”. Arenatus, Latin for “sandy”, is the specific name given to this fossil because it was found in a desert. The species was also known by MNHN GDF43G, a dentary fragment and GDF 381, a right coracoid.

Source: Wikipedia