Yunnanosaurus (Yunnan Province)
C. C. Young (Yang Zhongjian) - 1942
Estimated 4-6 meters long
Y. huangi (type), Y. youngi
China – Yunnan Province
Early Jurassic, 201-175 million years ago
Yunnanosaurus is a genus of dinosaur that lived during the Early Jurassic period, approximately 201-175 million years ago. Its name is derived from the Yunnan Province of China where the first fossils were discovered in 1941.
Yunnanosaurus was a herbivorous dinosaur that measured around 4-6 meters in length and weighed around 500-1,000 kg. It had a bulky body and a long neck, with a small head and a toothless beak that it used to bite off vegetation.
Yunnanosaurus is a member of the sauropodomorph group of dinosaurs, which are characterized by their long necks and tails, and their four-legged stance. It is thought to be one of the earliest sauropodomorphs, and its anatomy provides important clues about the evolution of this group of dinosaurs.
One interesting fact about Yunnanosaurus is that it had a respiratory system that was similar to that of modern birds. Unlike mammals, which have a diaphragm to aid breathing, birds use a system of air sacs to circulate air through their lungs. Yunnanosaurus is one of the earliest known dinosaurs to have had this system, which may have allowed it to be more active and efficient in its movement.
Overall, Yunnanosaurus is an important and fascinating dinosaur that provides valuable insights into the early evolution of the sauropodomorph group, and the evolution of dinosaur respiration.