The head of MamenchisaurusMamenchisaurus was a sauropod that lived in East Asia during the Late Jurassic Period. It had typical sauropod features: an enormously long neck—more than half its body length—a long whip-like tail and a bulky body with four pillar-like legs. Its hindlegs were longer than its front ones. Its snout was quite blunt, with nostrils on top of its head.
Mamenchisaurus’s long neck enabled it to reach high into the trees, or reaching forward to browse on plants in swampy places while standing on firm ground. It had sturdy, spoon-shaped teeth—just right for cropping leaves and ferns. It probably also swallowed stones (gastroliths) to enable it to digest tough plants.
A herd of Mamenchisaurus on their migration marchHerds of Mamenchisaurus would still have devoured vast amounts of vegetation. They marched from one area to the next in search of new food supplies, the young walking in the centre of a group for protection against predators.
The name Mamenchisaurus means “Mamen Brook” lizard, after the stream close to where its fossil remains were found.
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