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Fusuisaurus zhaoi skeletal

Fusuisaurus zhaoi

Etymology: "Zhao Xijin's Fusui County lizard"

Time horizon: Early Cretaceous, Aptian epoch? (~120 mya)

Length: ~30m (~100 ft.)

Probable mass: 70 tons

*Now re-scaled - this animal is a bit smaller than previously predicted* Missing portions of described bones are shaded in light gray.

The mysterious, never-before-restored, and downright colossal Fusuisaurus. The first and only true brachiosaur discovery known from China (no, Qiaowanlong and Zigongosaurus are NOT brachiosaurs), this giant is unique in two critical ways: it is unusual in being so basal so late; and it is apparently more closely related to Brachiosaurus altithorax than any other species of brachiosaur. The ilium is extremely similar to Brachiosaurus, and the tail vertebrae follow a similar pattern. This species punches a hole in the notion that basal members of a clade can't grow to gigantic sizes - sometimes they can even exceed the sizes of many derived members. The charcters of all recovered elements correspond well to a late survivor of a basal progenitor lineage for Brachiosaurus. It is evidently not, as has sometimes been claimed, a basal titanosaur or a somphospondylian.

Often labeled in the Chinese press as the most basal titanosauriform known, the reputation is a bit premature. Evidently its distinctively brachiosaur features show that Fusuisaurus was considerably more advanced than the most basal titanosauriforms (Volkheimeria, "Lavocatitan" and the klamelisaurids). Pneumaticity is not very developed in the ribs, so this animal is likely more primitive than Brachiosaurus itself, despite being a far more recent species. It appears to be a living fossil that survived from the mid-Jurassic days of Brachiosaurus' direct ancestors, survivors of which seem to have long outlasted Brachiosaurus itself. How such instances of extremely long survival for such "holdover taxa" and basal bloodlines take place, particularly in a fast-evolving (and fast-turnover) warm-blooded class like Dinosauria, is still not properly understood.


Mo, J., Wang W.,Huang Z., Huang X., Xu X., 2006, "A Basal Titanosauriform from the Early Cretaceous of Guangxi, China", Acta Geologica Sinica, Vol.80 No.4 P.486-489
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PigsFly1010's avatar

Unreasonably massive ... I don't think it is actually much more than 25 meters. It might also end up as a Titanosaurian dinosaur like Sauroposeidon and Paluxysaurus.

SameerPrehistorica's avatar
I didn't heard about this before.It's a brachiosaur,hmm...well,i will be glad if really it was massive as seen exactly in this image.
Jeda45's avatar
I'm not convinced it's a basal, Brachiosaurus-like brachiosaurid like you say, but I agree that the evidence for it being a brachiosaurid is at least as good as the evidence for it being a somphospondyl.
Kazuma27's avatar
Giant sauropods, giant sauropods everywehere!
SameerPrehistorica's avatar
Happy to see that at least some brachiosaur is in the range of 70 tonnes.Well,i always believed there could be few of them or at least one of their species could weigh 70 or 75 tonnes.Also i believe that some Titanosaur is going to hit solid 120 tonnes plus.
Paleo-King's avatar
Maybe one of the new beasts from Chubut, Argentina? Or perhaps whatever made the Plagne tracks in France. Those are definitely big enough.
SameerPrehistorica's avatar
The estimated weight of that one is similar to Argentinosaurus and yet they said it is larger than Argentinosaurus.Anyway,but someday a 100 tonne plus Titanosaur is going to show up and then i wonder where those people will keep their face who said that 100 tonnes is the maximum weight for a land animal.A land animal weigh in excess of 100 tonnes will crush itself.             
           We can see about that.
Paleo-King's avatar
Actually I heard the maximum limit was closer to 150 tons. At 160 tons, some theoretical models (like McNeill Alexander's) guess that the legs would need to be so thick as to almost touch each other. I highly doubt this, but then again we've never seen a dinosaur that big so jury's out for now. A number of tests on different materials in a Discovery channel program showed that the bones of Argentinosaurus could in theory support around 90-95 tons before buckling.
SpinoInWonderland's avatar
Well, for what it's worth, here's a study on the theoretical limits for terrestrial land fauna size:…

It presents a theoretical possible range of ~100-1000 tonnes where the limit may lie anywhere in. The conclusion of the study is basically that structural integrity is not really much of a limiting factor, while ecological factors are much more important.
Paleo-King's avatar
1000 tonnes ? Wow that's a shocker. But you're right, I think ecological parameters would ever let an animal get that big. Feeding a population of such huge creatures would take too much strain on resources. In fact in my mind, just finding enough food to feed a few Argentinosaurus looks like a difficult feat, but then again conifer forests were far larger back then.
SameerPrehistorica's avatar
I just searched if anyone said a max limit was 150 tonnes.I can't able to find it.I read some info from McNeill Alexander about dinosaur weight problems.Then i read this sentence for Bruhathkayosaurus from this site and it made me laugh.----------( Not all palaeontologists are even convinced that it was a bone at all, rather than a fossilised tree-trunk.)…
Paleo-King's avatar
I have my doubts too. But we probably will never have a final anser about Bruhathkayosaurus. Because in over 30 years of it being known, only a handful of very grainy photographs were taken, and these don't make it at all clear WHAT this find actually was. And the thing wasn't even taken to a museum, just left to sit there at the dig site for over 30 years! Nobody ever bothered to take a digital camera to the site in the past few years, truly sad considering that Yadagiri and Ayyasami were bragging that they had the BIGGEST dinosaur in the world. But then again they had made false claims about finding rare dinosaurs before, such as "Dravidosaurus" being the last surviving stegosaur, well into the Cretaceous - only it turned out it was some very badly damaged sternal plates of a plesiosaur, not stegosaur back plates!

Then according to Dr. Ayyasami, a big flood came in the monsoon season to the Bruhathkayosaurus site and washed it all away! How convenient for his big fish story.... you can read more about it here… And here:…
AcrocanthosaurusA's avatar
Amphicoelias is just as bad in my opinion.
SameerPrehistorica's avatar
There are some bad comments about you in one of the link to your blog.Why you allowed those comments ? Remove them. That guy who commented like that probably should be an Indian.
Paleo-King's avatar
Thanks for the info, I deleted them. I have been busy and didn't pay attention to that old post.

Whoever that fool is, he's dead wrong on everything. Disagreeing with bad research doesn't make you a racist or a slanderer, I'm not even a "westerner" myself, I never claimed to talk to Ayyasami, Zach Armstrong did (whom I quoted), Ayyasami did not die decades ago (is he even dead?), and you can't sue people for slander (only libel), especially not on behalf of a "dead" person. What a complete tool. You'll be happy to know that there are no "slander suits" against me despite 2 years having passed LOL. And he's a complete MORON to think that Indian courts have any jurisdiction in the USA. If that was the case I should sue him for libel and harassment, if he had the balls to even use a name or avatar.

I have to delete all the stupid spam comments too, wish I got more useful comments on my blog instead of all the little creeps and psychos.
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SameerPrehistorica's avatar
You have a interesting blog. I don't have much knowledge in those skeleton parts that you talk about there as well as here in DA. There is a lot to read ! And i am not much of a reader.Lol.. I might get a headache if i start to read all of them but however someday i will.I have one big image to complete and when if i could finish it someday then from next day after that,i could read about some animals.
                I am not expecting Bruhathkayosaurus to be real but there may be fossils of some or few large Dinosaurs here in this country.And i am living somewhere next to the city where that tree trunk bruhathfakesaurus was known.Lol.
Fragillimus335's avatar
I think this is my favorite of your skeletals.  It has wonderful, and well-balanced proportions.
darklord86's avatar
Very impressive!
ElSqiubbonator's avatar
Wasn't there another Sauroposeidon-sized Chinese brachiosaur that you mentioned earlier? 
Paleo-King's avatar
Don't think so... a Chinese brachiosaur? Fusuisaurus is the only legit one as far as I know. China has some huge sauropods but most are either titanosaurs (like Ruyangosaurus) or basal somphospondyli (like Daxiatitan and Huanghetitan). Maybe you can find where I apparently said that?
ElSqiubbonator's avatar
I was talking about Fusuisaurus.
Paleo-King's avatar
Well this IS Fuisuisaurus... the picture here that you're posting on :D So yes, technically you're right, Fusuisaurus is the only Chinese brachiosaur we know so far... with the exception of Fusuisaurus :XD:

In all seriousness, it may be possible that Japan's largest dinosaur, Fukuititan, which sounds similar, is a brachiosaur. But that's Japan not China, and Fukuititan is no rival to Sauroposeidon, it's absolutely TINY by comparison... maybe a 30-footer at best.
ElSqiubbonator's avatar
I must have seen your earlier reconstruction and thought it was a different animal.
Paleo-King's avatar
I did revise it, but only size-wise. It was a bit bigger before but the scaling was off so I fixed it. But in terms of proportions and shape it really didn't change.
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