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Tuojiangosaurus is a genus of Stegosaurid dinosaur from the Late Jurassic Period, recovered from the Upper Shaximiao Formation of what is now Sichuan Province in China.

Description

Physically similar to the North American Stegosaurus, Tuojiangosaurus is the best understood of the Chinese stegosaurids. The only known species is T. multispinus, named in 1977. The Tuojiangosaurus, like the Stegosaurus, has plates along its back imbedded in its skin and four spikes on its tail, probably used to defend itself against predators such as the Monolophosaurus. But the plates are triangular(Stegosaurus' plates are pentagonal), and the longest plates were on its hip. It also have a small head, a big body and low teeth like other stegosaurids.

Paleobiology

A Tuojiangosaurus walking

While early depictions of stegosaurids saw these plates as being for either defence or thermoregulation,‭ ‬modern analysis has found the plates to‭ ‬not‭ ‬really be suitable for either of these purposes.‭ ‬The plates themselves are too weak and brittle to protect against a powerful bite,‭ ‬and not adapted enough for an efficient thermoregulation purpose.‭ ‬This leaves the explanation of inter species display where stegosaurids could recognise others of their‭ ‬kind by the shape and arrangement of the plates which differed between individual genera and species. Because it lacked the tall spines for muscle attachment found on the vertebrae of Stegosaurus, it was probably unable to rear up on its hind legs like that animal. This suggests that it would have eaten low-lying, ground vegetation.

Popular culture

The Tuojiangosaurus fight in the Field Museum of Chicago

  • There's a Tuojiangosaurus skeleton exposed in the Field Museum of Chicago, fighting a Monolophosaurus. It is also on display at the Municipal Museum of Chongqing. In addition, a mounted cast is on display at the Natural History Museum, in London.

References

Gallery

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