Lurdusaurus

Name: Lurdusaurus ‭(‬heavy lizard‭)‬.
Phonetic: Lur-du-sore-us.
Named By: P.‭ ‬Taquet‭ & ‬D.‭ ‬A.‭ ‬Russell‭ ‬-‭ ‬1999.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Ornithischia,‭ ‬Ornithopoda,‭ ‬Styracosterna,‭ ‬Hadrosauriformes.
Species: L.‭ ‬arenatus‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: About‭ ‬9‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Niger‭ ‬-‭ ‬Elhraz Formation.
Time period: Aptian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial post cranial skeleton and skull fragments.

       Lurdusaurus is a genus of ornithopod dinosaur that lived in North Africa during the Early Cretaceous,‭ ‬and one that helped reveal that some ornithopods at least were growing to large sizes.‭ ‬Lurdusaurus is noted for being approximately nine meters long featuring a neck that is longer than most other ornithopods of its kind and having a particularly robust skeleton which could be indicative of a heavy build in life.‭ ‬The hind feet however have no hard connections,‭ ‬which has led to speculation that the feet may have had extensive fleshy pads to support the weight.‭ ‬Alternative the heavy skeleton may have been to aid buoyancy for a more aquatic lifestyle,‭ ‬perhaps to traverse the extensive waterways that are known to have stretched across North Africa at this time.‭ ‬This might also be why the hind foot lacks overly developed weight bearing features since buoyancy from water would relieve stress on the feet.‭ ‬This however is only speculation,‭ ‬with no current fossil evidence to support this idea.
       Coming from the Elhraz Formation,‭ ‬Lurdusaurus shared the same habitat as the better known Ouranosaurus.‭ ‬Principal predatory threats‭ ‬to Lurdusaurus came from the abelisaurid theropods Kryptops and Eocarcharia,‭ ‬and if they were not enough the giant crocodile Sarcosuchus is also known to have been in the waterways of North Africa at the same time.

Further reading
-‭ ‬A massively-constructed iguanodont from Gadoufaoua,‭ ‬Lower Cretaceous of Niger.‭ ‬Annales de Paléontologie‭ ‬85‭(‬1‭)‬:85-96.‭ ‬-‭ ‬P.‭ ‬Taquet‭ & ‬D.‭ ‬A.‭ ‬Russell‭ ‬-‭ ‬1999.



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