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Re: It Came From New Papers

Jerry Harris wrote:

Zhao, X., Li, D., Han, G., Hao, H., Liu, F., Li, L., and Fang, X. 2007. _Zhuchengosaurus maximus_ from Shandong Province. Acta Geoscientia Sinica 28(2): 111-122.

-- appears to be a hadrosaur, based on the English papers being cited in the bibliography.

Indeed it is a hadrosaur. Here's the abstract...

"_Zhuchengosaurus maximus_ Zhao [sic], gen. et sp. nov. was a mild herbivorous dinosaur, which lived in Zhucheng, Shandong Province in late Mesozoic 100 Ma. The specimen is a skeleton assembled by parts collected from several individuals of the same species. With a height of 9.1 m and a length of 16.6 m, it was the tallest individual among the ornithopods. It had small forelimbs and tough hind legs and its sacra were forned by 6 cones [sic]. It is another new finding after the discovery of the giant _Shandongosaurus_ [sic]."

The abstract is a little short on details (*ahem*); but the size estimates, if true, are certainly impressive. (Nearly 17 m long!) However, I can't read Chinese so I can't determine (a) how the authors obtain their size estimates; (b) how much of the composite skeleton is based on real fossil material; or (c) how exactly _Zhuchengosaurus_ is distinct from _Shantungosaurus_ (they are both hadrosaurines).

I don't know of any ornithischians larger than "16.6 m". Except for maybe _Hypsibema_. Linear dimensions only tell part of the story, given that hadrosaurs had relatively big heads, short necks, and deep tails. Thus, unlike sauropods, most of a hadrosaur's body length was not eaten up by a snakey neck and tail. In other words, a 17m hadrosaur could easily kick the butt of a 17m sauropod. It's a good thing that the authors describe _Zhuchengosaurus_ as "mild". ;-)



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