Spinophorosaurus is a species and genus sauropod from the Middle Jurassic of Northern Africa; Niger.


Skeletal-reconstructions Spinophorosaurus-nigerensis-A-Original-skeletal

Skeletal reconstructions of Spinophorosaurus nigerensis. (A) Original skeletal reconstruction of Spinophorosaurus first published in 2009, modified from the original publication 21 . (B) Virtual skeletal reconstruction of Spinophorosaurus. Credit: Researchgate

Spinophorosaurus nigerensis, is amongst the most complete basal sauropod genera currently known. The taxon shares many anatomical characters with Middle Jurassic East Asian sauropods, while it is strongly dissimilar to Lower and Middle Jurassic South American and Indian forms. A possible explanation for this pattern is a separation of Laurasian and South Gondwanan Middle Jurassic sauropod faunas by geographic barriers. Integration of phylogenetic analyses and paleogeographic data reveals congruence between early sauropod evolution and hypotheses about Jurassic paleoclimate and phytogeography.

Spinophorosaurus is a genus of early sauropod dinosaur from Niger. It was recovered in a rock formation belonging to the lower part of the Irhazer Group, the age of which is unknown but may be Middle Jurassic or older. It is unusual for having spiked osteoderms, probably from the tail. The type species, S. nigerensis, was described by Remes et al. in 2009.

Latest analysis have completely revamped the previous reconstruction and body anatomy of this sauropod, and shown that Spinophorosaurus have had skeletal adaptations for high browsing. Alas, the attributed tail spikes turned out to be invalid attributions and turned out to be misidentified clavicles.