STL Science Center

STL Science Center

02 December 2017

Chinese Therizinosaurs

©Michael B. H. under GNU Free Documentation License
Suzhousaurus megatherioides (Li et al., 2007) is an Early Cretaceous therizinosaur discovered in Gansu, China, a region in the northwestern portion of the country. The name refers to Suzhou, the ancient name for the Jiuquan area of Gansu where the fossil was discovered. Interestingly enough this region is the northwestern region of this northwestern province. The specific epithet references the similarity of the postcranial fossil to Megatherium, the genus of Giant Ground Sloths. A significant portion of the skeleton has been described. There is an interesting phylogenetic confusion about Suzhousaurus and the lost "Nanshiungosaurus" type specimen; a thereizinosaur genus described with two species (N. brevispinus Dong, 1979 (type) and N. bohlini Dong and You, 1997). We will attempt to look more deeply into this later this week. Suzhousaurus currently sits in a basal position within the therizinosauridae and will therefore tell us a lot this week about what defines therizinosaurs in relation to other theropods. We will find, additionally, what makes the diet of both Suzhousaurus and other therizinosaurs different from other theropods.

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