omeisaurus

The Omei lizard, Omeisaurus (1939)

Phylum : Chordata
Class : Reptilia
Order : Saurischia
Suborder : Sauropodomorpha
Family : Mamenchisauridae
Genus : Omeisaurus
Species : O. junghsiensis, O. changshouensis, O. fuxiensis, O. tianfuensis, O. luoquanensis, O. maoianus, O. jiaoi

  • Middle Jurassic (165 - 160 Ma)
  • 15 m long and 7 000 kg (size)
  • Shamiwiao formation, China (map)

Omeisaurus was first described in 1939. It was named after the sacred mountain Omeishan, which is where the first fossil example of Omeisaurus was found. Most skeletons of Omeisaurus were found in the 1970s and 1980s, during the great “Chinese dinosaur rush”. There have been six species of Omeisaurus named so far: O. junghsiensis, O. changshouensis, O. fuxiensis, O. tianfuensis, O. luoquanensis, and O. maoianus. All of these but the last were named after the locations where they were found. O. fuxiensis was the smallest species, measuring around 11 m long. O. tianfuensis had the longest neck of the genus, around 9.1 m long. The only dinosaur with a longer neck was Mamenchisaurus. A club tail fossil discovered in the same bone bed as the Omeisaurus fossils was thought to belong to this genus, but is now believed to belong to a large specimen of Shunosaurus.

Mounted skeletons of Omeisaurus are on display at the Zigong Dinosaur Museum in Zigong, Sichuan Province and at Beipei Museum, near Chongqing, both in China.