Named By: P. Taquet & D. A. Russell - 1999.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Ornithischia, Ornithopoda, Styracosterna, Hadrosauriformes.
Species: L. arenatus (type).
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.
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.
- A massively-constructed iguanodont from Gadoufaoua, Lower Cretaceous of Niger. Annales de Paléontologie 85(1):85-96. - P. Taquet & D. A. Russell - 1999.