Mamenchisaurus Click to enlarge image
Illustration of Mamenchisaurus by James Reece. Image: James Reece
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Family
    Euhelopodidae
  • Size Range
    gigantic
  • Feeding Habits
    herbivore
  • View Fossil Record
    Fossil Record
    Jurassic Period
    (205 million years ago - 141 million years ago)
    Cretaceous Period
    (141 million years ago - 65 million years ago)

Introduction

Mamenchisaurus jingyanensis was a gigantic herbivore that lived around 150 million years ago and had one of the longest necks of all known dinosaurs.

Identification

Mamenchisaurus jingyanensis had:

  • a nine-metre-long neck to help it reach leaves high up in trees;
  • hollows in its neck bones to reduce the weight of its neck;
  • a large and powerful heart to pump blood to the head;
  • strong and thick blood vessels to cope with its high blood pressure;
  • thick pads of fibrous tissues on its heels to help cushion its great weight;
  • a 'second brain' in the spinal cord in the hip area to help control its hind legs and tail.

Feeding and diet

Mamenchisaurus jingyanensis was a gigantic herbivore.

Fossils description

Mamenchisaurus is named after Mamen Brook, in Sichuan where it was first found.

Evolutionary relationships

Mamenchisaurus jingyanensis was a sauropod belonging to the Chinese family Euhelopodidae, a group of massive dinosaurs that lived from the Late Jurassic to the Early Cretaceous.