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Mamenchisaurus
Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Reptilia
Subclass Diapsida
Superorder Dinosauria
Order Saurischia
Suborder Sauropodomorpha
Family Mamenchisauridae
Genus Mamenchisaurus
1st Species Mamenchisaurus constructus
2nd Species Mamenchisaurus hochuanensis
3rd Species Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum
4th Species Mamenchisaurus youngi
Other attributes
Time Range 161.2-155.7 mya
Location China
Name Meaning Mamenchi reptile
Physical Dimensions 14.1 meters long for M.constructus; 24.3 meters long for M.sinocanadorum
Weight 4.5 tonnes for M.constructus; 19 tonnes for M.sinocanadorum
Dietary Classification Herbivore

Mamenchisaurus is a mamenchisaurid sauropod sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Late Jurassic of China. It was named in 1954 by Chung Chien Young. It had the longest neck out of any sauropod, and it also had a unique tail.

PhysiologyEdit

Mamenchisaurus resembled the generic sauropod, a large saurischian with a bulky body, 4 large, erect, pillar-like legs, a long tail, an long neck, and a small head. However, it did differ from the generic sauropod body plan in a few ways; for example, its neck was extremely long (considerably longer than those of other sauropods), and the tip of its tail might have been covered in a club. Its body would have been covered in scaly skin.

DietEdit

Mamenchisaurus was an herbivore, feeding on leaves from large trees. Its peg-like teeth were used to strip branches of their leaves, and its long neck and limbs and its long neck and limbs allowed it to access vegetation some 15 meters in the air without rearing.

EcologyEdit

Due to its extremely long neck, Mamenchisaurus was able to sweep its neck across a wide area of vegetation without having to constantly move from one area to another. This feeding strategy was often times very useful, as it would allow the mamenchisaurid to eat for a long time without expending energy once it found a suitable area for feeding. As well as this, the tip of its tail was robust and had relatively tall spinal extensions; such uniqueness would lead people to believe that the sauropod had a club on the tip of its tail. The exact use of the club is unknown; some say that it was used for communication with other members of its species, while others say that it was used for defense against predators like Yangchuanosaurus or Sinraptor.

In popular cultureEdit

Mamenchisaurus was featured in the 1997 science fiction movie, The Lost World: Jurassic Park. It appears near the beginning of the film, where it is chased by motorcycle-driving mercenaries alongside large herds of Parasaurolophus, Gallimimus, and Pachycephalosaurus.

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