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Daanosaurus zhangi skeletal

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Daanosaurus zhangi

Etymology: "Zhang's Daano lizard"

Time horizon: Late Jurassic, Oxfordian epoch? (~160 mya)

Length: 4.5m (~15 ft.) as a juvenile. Adult length unknown, but may have been similar in size to Klamelisaurus.

Probable mass: 400kg (as a juvenile). Adult mass unknown, but likely similar to Klamelisaurus.

*Light gray bones represent material which has been recovered and prepared, but not figured in the description paper. Dark gray represents missing elements.*

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Known only from a single juvenile specimen - so young that the upper and lower components of its vertebrae are still separate bones divided by unfused neural canal sutures - Daanosaurus is the most recent-living species in the family klamelisauridae that has yet been discovered. (Or if you are from west Texas, it's how you pronounce "dinosaurs" every day). A contemporary of the some of the later mamenchisaurs in Sichuan, it has many features in the vertebrae which superficially resemble Euhelopus in profile, but unlike Euhelopus there's a complete absence of bifurcation in any of the neural spines, a feature unusually similar to all but the most basal brachiosaurs. However Daanosaurus may have evolved its single neural spines independently of them. It's not known if this animal is more derived than its older cousin Klamelisaurus (without adult remains it's complicated to tell, since sauropods do sometimes undergo substantial changes in vertebra morphs as they mature), but since the basal condition appears to be bifid neural spines in both klamelisaurs and early brachiosaurs (i.e. Atlasaurus) then it's likely Daanosaurus was at the advanced end of its clade, and independently lost all traces of bifurcation in the spines. The trait was also lost by most brachiosaurids, and all known laurasiformes and chubutisaurids... only to return with a vengeance in huanghetitanids, euhelopodids, and acrofornicans... and then disappear again in the majority of titanosaurs... and appear yet again in Opisthocoelicaudia!

As a juvenile the neck proportions of Daanosaurus were generally similar to those of young Klamelisaurus specimens (aka. "Bellusaurus sui"). And as an adult it probably also took on the same far more elongated "mamenchisaur-mimic" neck proportions as adult Klamelisaurus. Of course this will not be known for sure unless older individuals of Daanosaurus are discovered, since we only know of this species (and of the fact that its family survived into the Late Jurassic, if just barely) through the swift death and burial of a baby.


References:

Y. Ye, Y.-H. Gao, and S. Jiang. 2005. A new genus of sauropod from Zigong, Sichuan. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 43(3):175-181
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Comments14
anonymous's avatar
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Evodolka's avatar
EvodolkaHobbyist Traditional Artist
perfect size for a slow moving mount to move down the street :D
Paleo-King's avatar
Paleo-KingProfessional Traditional Artist
Yeah, either this or Europasaurus, they are both good.

Euhelopus also seems appealing, all three of the "exemplars" are from young specimens around 35ft. long max and with smaller bodies than an elephant... but the adult size was probably more like 50-60ft. so watch out. Of course Daanosaurus adults might have also gotten pretty big, we don't really know as this juvenile is the only specimen found.
Evodolka's avatar
EvodolkaHobbyist Traditional Artist
yeah they are like large scaly llamas and i want to hug them like the baby brachiosaurus in Jurassic world (best comparison  have :D)

oh that's a shame i really wanted a llama sized sauropod
Llama Emoji-55 (Happy New Year) [V3]Llama Emoji 31 (Stroll) [V2]
Paleo-King's avatar
Paleo-KingProfessional Traditional Artist
There was a baby Brachiosaurus in Jurassic World? Where? I didn't catch that!
Evodolka's avatar
EvodolkaHobbyist Traditional Artist
near the start in a petting zoo a child hugs it's neck and it is really freaking cute :meow:
Paleo-King's avatar
Paleo-KingProfessional Traditional Artist
You tricked me lol that was a baby Apatosaurus. Very different proportions and head shape even as a baby.

I don't think Brachiosaurus appears even once in Jurassic World (not sure why though - it was super popular thanks to JP1 and had a brief though awful appearance in JP3). Perhaps the producers decided Apatosaurus was more docile-looking with that low horse-head, lacked the same height and mass, and less able to defend itself against "Indomitus rex"? The colossal earth-shaking Brachiosaurs in JP1 look like they could turn "Indomitus rex" into toe jam without too much effort.
Evodolka's avatar
EvodolkaHobbyist Traditional Artist
oh i was going by neck position the way it stood up like a llama, so sorry for not noticing
in fact i didn't even know we have baby brachiosaurus fossils :la:

really? i learned of it through walking with dinosaurs and it's 15 second appearance :D
oh yeah the JP3 ones did look like nightmare fuel to me :o
guess the only issue with that indominus vs brachiosaurs idea would be that indominus would probably plan around it's movements and keep avoiding attack until enough ankle bites EVENTUALLY bled it to death or something :)
Algoroth's avatar
AlgorothProfessional General Artist
Beautiful work, Paleo King!
kyriesin's avatar
kyriesinStudent General Artist
I don't care how large it gets, I would still hug it. One can dream...

Beautiful reconstruction. o:
Paleo-King's avatar
Paleo-KingProfessional Traditional Artist
Thanks! I would hug most sauropods... except the super spiky ones like Ampelosaurus. :D
kyriesin's avatar
kyriesinStudent General Artist
There's bound to be a safe way to hug them. :3
Paleo-King's avatar
Paleo-KingProfessional Traditional Artist
Yes... vicariously... from inside one of these: collider.com/wp-content/upload…
RajaHarimau98's avatar
RajaHarimau98Hobbyist Traditional Artist
At first I thought that this was the adult, and I was going to say how ridiculously adorable that would be.
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
HyrotrioskjanProfessional General Artist
A beautiful sauropod, I love the way you reconstructed the skull :calp:
anonymous's avatar
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