STL Science Center

STL Science Center

11 May 2012

This Makes Me Think of an 80's Song

©Dmitry Bogdanov
Yangchuanosaurus is a genus of Chinese sinraptorids that consists of two species; Y. shangyouensis (type) and Y. magnus; Paul includes Y. magnus in Y. shangyouensis and names another species Y. dongi. The generic name means Yanchuan's lizard while the specific names mean "of Shangyou" (it was found during construction of the Shangyou Reservoir Dam in 1978) and "great" respectively; Paul's recognized Y. dongi is named after the paleontologist who described the first species of the genus.  Paul notes that that species, Y. dongi, barely differs from Y. shangyouensis and that Y. magnus is a growth stage of the latter rather than a distinct species. A new species was recognized in 1992 called Y. hepingensis, but has not been considered anything more than a growth stage of the type species in recent years. Sinraptors tend to be very Allosaur-like (and at times Megalosaur-like) and therefore Yangchuanosaurus is very much like an Allosaur in appearance. It's tail is robust and larger than its body, it has a large set of jaws and teeth and three fingered hands with large claws. Despite all of these features, it also possessed a ridge on its nose not unlike that found in Ceratosaurus or a very small version of what we found on the head of Monolophosaurus. The narrowness of the skull seems to indicate that their eyesight may have had some overlapping regions and thus some depth perception, though I cannot say for certain as I have not yet found a skull view which I can make an assured educated guess with.

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