Named By: Ding, Zhou, & Zhang - 1983.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Saurischia, Sauropodomorpha, Sauropoda, Cetiosauridae.
Species: S. lii (Type).
Size: Roughly about 9.5 meters long.
Known locations: China - Shangshaximiao Formation, Xiashaximiao Formation.
Time period: Bathonian to Callovian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Several skeletons, including exceptionally well preserved individuals.
large number of well-preserved Shunosaurus
individuals that have been
recovered has revealed much about Shunosaurus
making it perhaps the
most complete sauropod
genus known. This material has also allowed
palaeontologist to confirm as well as speculate upon new theories for
other sauropods that are not as well represented as Shunosaurus.
However, despite the reconstruction of Shunosaurus
being without doubt,
its exact phylogenetic position is still currently under doubt with
some people placing Shunosaurus within the
Euhelopodidae instead of the
Cetiosauridae like it was originally placed. It may require the
recovery and further study of material from other sauropods of these
groups before Shunosaurus can be confidently placed
within one group or
Shunosaurus had what appears to have been a defensive adaptation to the tip of its tail. The vertebra here formed the support for a spiked club, two five centimetre horns rising from the top. Such a club combined with the momentum of the tail would have been easily capable of inflicting crushing blows upon attacking theropod dinosaurs. Another possibility for this weapon is that it could have been used between two males competing for dominance.
- [Dinosaurs from the Jurassic of Sichuan] - Palaeontologica Sinica, New Series C, Whole Number 162(23):1-136 - Z. Dong, Z. Zhou & H. Zhang - 1983.
- [The discovery of the bony tail club of sauropods] - Vertebrata Palasiatica 27: 219–224 - Z. Dong, G. Peng & D. Huang - 1989.
- Cranial anatomy of Shunosaurus, a basal sauropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of China - Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 136(1): 145–169 - S. Chatterjee & Z. Zheng - 2002.
- [Preliminary histological study on the long bones of Middle Jurassic Shunosaurus and Omeisaurus from Dashanpu, Zigong, Sichuan] - Acta Palaeontologica Sinica 46(1):135-144 - Y. Ye, G. -Z. Peng & S. Jiang - 2007.