(Heavenly pool lizard).
Named By: Z. Dong - 1993.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Ornithischia, Thyreophora, Ankylosauria.
Species: T. nedegoapeferima (type).
Known locations: China, Xinjiang - Toutunhe Formation.
Time period: Mid Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Skull and partial post cranial skeleton.
was originally dubbed (but never officially named) Jurassosaurus
because in the same year that it was named, the very first Jurassic
park film was released. Incidentally, the name Jurassosaurus was
suggested by Steven Spielberg who produced and directed the film.
Dong rejected the name Jurassosaurus in favour of Tianchisaurus,
kept the species name ‘nedegoapeferima’ as this
was created from
the surnames of the main actors of the film.
Tianchisaurus was a primitive ankylosaur, but one which has an uncertain placement. To start the tail club seems to have been severely underdeveloped, perhaps even absent and the jaws are also quite narrow. These two features (or in the case of the club, lack of) themselves are most commonly associated with nodosaurid dinosaurs, close cousins of the ankylosaurid dinosaurs. For this reason most palaeontologists prefer to list Tianchisaurus within the Ankylosauria which features both nodosaurid and ankylosaurid dinosaurs, but also hold back upon a specific placement in either group until new specimens and/or research can prove one over the other.
- An ankylosaur (ornithischian dinosaur) from the Middle Jurassic of the Junggar Basin, China. - Vertebrata PalAsiatica 31(4):257-266. - Z. Dong - 1993.