STL Science Center

STL Science Center

02 January 2016

Heads Up

(C) Hirokazu Tokugawa
The longer forelimbs of Euhelopus create a natural slope in the body which elevates the chest above the posterior end of the sauropod. The neck and head are raised higher because of the forelimb length, somewhat like those of a giraffe. The shorter hindlimbs naturally lower the tail and help to create that taller anterior end of the animal, also somewhat like a giraffe. The head appears to be very much like the heads of any other sauropod. That cranium is one of the most complete heads that has ever been discovered for a sauropod dinosaur, making it far more important than the fact that its discovery led to more paleontology within China itself. That skull is also disarticulated, so the reconstructed skull is an approximation, but it is quite a fantastic reconstruction. Knowing what the head looks like on the end of the long neck is important for understanding its diet and the way in which it interacted with other members of its species and members of other species. The neck is extremely long and the body itself is as we would expect for a large sauropod. The immensity of the sauropod and the anatomy of Euhelopus have placed it in the titanosauriformes of the early Cretaceous.

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