Shunosaurus Click to enlarge image
Shunosaurus Image: James Reece
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Family
    Cetiosauridae
  • Feeding Habits
    herbivore

Introduction

Shunosaurus lii was a slow-moving herbivorous dinosaur which lived around 170 million years ago and probably had a lifespan of over 120 years.

Identification

Shunosaurus lii had:

  • ladle-shaped teeth that helped it to crop the leaves of low-growing plants;
  • a bony, clubbed tail which it used for defence;
  • gastroliths (small stones which the dinosaur swallowed) in its stomach to help break up plant tissues.

Fossils description

Shunosaurus lii was discovered in Sichuan, which was known as Shu in ancient times. The species name lii was named after Li Bing, who constructed the Dujiangyan Irrigation System in Sichuan.

Evolutionary relationships

Shunosaurus lii was a sauropod belonging to the family Cetiosauridae. This large family occurred worldwide from the Early Jurassic to Late Cretaceous.