Yangchuanosaurus (Yangchuan lizard)
Dong et al - 1978
Estimated 10 meters long
Y. shangyouensis (type), Y. zigongensis
China - Shaximiao Formation
Late Jurassic, 155-145 million years ago
Yangchuanosaurus was a large theropod dinosaur that lived during the Late Jurassic period, around 155-145 million years ago. Its name comes from the area where it was discovered, Yangchuan County in China.
This dinosaur was one of the largest carnivores of its time, with an estimated length of up to 10 meters (33 feet) and a weight of around 3,000 kilograms (6,600 pounds). Yangchuanosaurus had a long, narrow snout and sharp, serrated teeth that it used to hunt large prey, such as sauropods and stegosaurs.
Despite its size and fearsome appearance, Yangchuanosaurus had some features that suggest it may have been a social animal. Fossil evidence has shown that individuals of different ages were often found together, and some specimens have been found with injuries that suggest they were attacked by other Yangchuanosaurus individuals, possibly during territorial disputes.
Yangchuanosaurus is also an important dinosaur for paleontologists studying the evolution of theropod dinosaurs, as it belongs to a group known as the allosauroids, which includes other large predators such as Allosaurus and Acrocanthosaurus. By studying the similarities and differences between these dinosaurs, scientists can better understand how theropods evolved and diversified during the Jurassic period.