Name: Nebulasaurus ‭(‬Misty cloud lizard‭)‬.
Phonetic: Neb-u-la-sore-us.
Named By: L.‭ ‬Xing,‭ ‬T.‭ ‬Miyashita,‭ ‬P.‭ ‬J Currie,‭ ‬H.‭ ‬You‭ & ‬Z.‭ ‬Dong‭ ‬-‭ ‬2013.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Saurischia,‭ ‬Sauropoda,‭ ‬Eusauropoda.
Species: N.‭ ‬taito‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: Uncertain due to incomplete remains.
Known locations: China,‭ ‬Yunnan Province‭ ‬-‭ ‬Zhanghe Formation.
Time period: Aalenian/Bajocian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Braincase‭ (‬the part of the skull that houses the brain‭)‬.

       Although based only upon the description of the braincase,‭ ‬it has been enough to not only identify Nebulasaurus as a‭ ‬new eusauropod dinosaur,‭ ‬but also further hints that during the middle Jurassic Asia had a very diverse range of sauropod dinosaurs.‭ ‬By the late Jurassic this diverse range seems to‭ ‬have thinned out in favour of mamenchisaurid sauropods‭ (‬those similar to Mamenchisaurus‭)‬.
       The braincase of Nebulasaurus has been noted as showing a great similarity to another genus named Spinophorosaurus which is known from Africa.‭ ‬Spinophorosaurus is known by much more complete remains which include a set of short spikes that were situated on the end of the tail like the thagomizer of a stegosaur.‭ ‬This leads to the question,‭ ‬if Spinophorosaurus had a thagomizer,‭ ‬did Nebulasaurus have a thagomizer too‭? ‬Unfortunately,‭ ‬unless a tail of Nebulasaurus is ever found,‭ ‬we simply can’t say for certain,‭ ‬but there was a another genus of sauropod living slightly later in the middle Jurassic than Nebulasaurus in China named Shunosaurus,‭ ‬that actually had a spiked tail club.

Further reading
-‭ ‬A new basal eusauropod from the Middle Jurassic of Yunnan,‭ ‬China,‭ ‬and faunal compositions and transitions of Asian sauropodomorph dinosaurs‭ ‬-‭ ‬Acta Palaeontologica Polonica‭ ‬-‭ ‬L.‭ ‬Xing,‭ ‬T.‭ ‬Miyashita,‭ ‬P.‭ ‬J Currie,‭ ‬H.‭ ‬You‭ & ‬Z.‭ ‬Dong‭ ‬-‭ ‬2013.


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