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JANENSCHIA
Go to a Janenschia Printout

ANATOMY
JanenschiaJanenschia (named after Werner Janensch) was a giant plant-eating dinosaur. This enormous dinosaur had a long neck, and a long tail. It was about 80 feet (24 m) long and weighed about 33 tons (30000 kg).

Janenschia walked on four thick legs; the hindlimbs had claws. The femur (thich bone) was up to 4 1/2 feet (1.38 m) long. Janenschia, like some other titanosaurids, may have been covered with armored plates, but there is no fossil evidence of this.



BLOOD PRESSURE PROBLEMS
Janenschia and some of the other large sauropods (the huge long-necked plant-eaters) needed to have large, powerful hearts and very high blood pressure in order to pump blood up the long neck to the head and brain. The heads (and brains) of Janenschia was held high (many meters) above its heart at times. This presents a problem in blood-flow engineering. In order to pump enough oxygenated blood to the head to operate Apatosaurus' brain (even its tiny sauropod brain) would require a large, powerful heart, tremendously high blood pressure, and wide, muscular blood vessels with many valves (to prevent the back-flow of blood). Janenschia's blood pressure was probably over 400 mm Mercury, three or four times as high as ours.

WHEN JANENSCHIA LIVED
Janenschia lived during the late Jurassic period, about 156 million to 150 million years ago. During this time, the Earth was warmer than it is now; the seasons were very mild, the sea levels were higher than they are now, and there was no polar ice.

BEHAVIOR
Although many sauropods may have travelled in herds, bonebeds of Janenschia fossils have not been found - only an incomplete fossil has been unearthed. Janenschia may have been a solitary animal.

Janenschia may have hatched from eggs, like other sauropods. Sauropod eggs have been found in a linear pattern and not in nests; presumably the eggs were laid as the animal was walking. It is thought that sauropods did not take care of their eggs. Sauropods life spans may have been in the order of 100 years.

INTELLIGENCE
It used to be thought that the sauropods (like Brachiosaurus and Apatosaurus) and Stegosaurus had a second brain. Paleontologists now think that what they thought was a second brain was just an enlargement in the spinal cord in the hip area. This enlargement was larger than the animal's tiny brain.

Janenschia was a sauropod, whose intelligence (as measured by its relative brain to body weight, or EQ) was the among the lowest of the dinosaurs.

EQ


DIET
This huge dinosaur was an herbivore (it ate only plants). It must have eaten a tremendous amount of plant material each day to sustain itself. It swallowed leaves whole, without chewing them, and may have had gastroliths (stomach stones) in its stomachs to help digest this tough plant material.

MOVEMENT
Janenschia likely moved very slowly on four legs (as determined from fossilized tracks and its leg length and estimated mass). Janenschia may have used its tail as a third leg in order to graze very tall vegetation.

FOSSILS
Only 2 forelimbs, 3 clawed hindlimbs (the femur was about 4 1/2 feet or 1.38 m long), and back and tail vertebrae were found - in Tanzania, Africa. This enormous dinosaur was named by German paleontologist Rupert Wild in 1991.

CLASSIFICATION
Janenschia was a:

The type species is J. robusta.



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For dinosaur printouts, click here.

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