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ZoomDinosaurs.com
ALL ABOUT DINOSAURS!
What is a Dinosaur? Dino Info Pages Dinosaur Coloring Print-outs Name That Dino Biggest, Smallest, Oldest,... Evolution of Dinosaurs Dinos and Birds Dino Myths

MASSOSPONDYLUS
"Massive Vertebra"
Massospondylus Printout

Massospondylus Brief Fact Sheet

ANATOMY
Massospondylus was an early herbivore about 13 feet (4 m) long and 3 feet (1 m) tall. It had a long neck, very long tail, a small head, peg-like teeth, and large, five-fingered hands with a large thumb claw. Massospondylus may have been able to use its hand for grasping in addition to walking. Its back legs were only a little bit larger than its front legs. It was a very common dinosaur.

WHEN MASSOSPONDYLUS LIVED
Massospondylus lived about 205 to 194 million years ago, during the early Jurassic period.

DIET
Massospondylus was an herbivore, a plant eater. It swallowed pebbles and small stones to help in the digestion of the tough leaves and other plant material that it ate. These gizzard stones (gastroliths) would help grind up the food in the stomach. Gastroliths have been found in Massospondylus fossils.

LOCOMOTION
Massospondylus walked on four muscular legs and was a relatively fast runner. It may have also run on two legs. Dinosaur speeds are estimated using their morphology (characteristics like leg length and estimated body mass) and fossilized trackways.

DISCOVERY OF FOSSILS
Massospondylus MapMassospondylus was named by paleontologist Richard Owen in 1854, based on vertebrae found in South Africa. Many Massospondylus fossils have been found in Africa (in Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa) and North America (in Arizona).

INTELLIGENCE
Massospondylus was a sauropodomorpha, whose intelligence (as measured by its relative brain to body weight, or EQ) was the lowest among the dinosaurs.

EQ


CLASSIFICATION
Massospondylus was a Saurischian dinosaur, the order of lizard-hipped dinosaurs. It was a sauropodomorph (quadrupedal herbivores) and a plateosaurid (heavy, thick-limbed herbivores that include Massospondylus, Mussaurus, and Plateosaurus).

LINKS AND ACTIVITIES
Massospondylus Printout

Massospondylus Brief Fact Sheet with a printable version



Information Sheets About Dinosaurs
(and Other Prehistoric Creatures)

Just click on an animal's name to go to that information sheet. If the dinosaur you're interested in isn't here, check the Dinosaur Dictionary or the list of Dinosaur Genera. Names with an asterisk (*) were not dinosaurs.
How to write a great dinosaur report.

For dinosaur printouts, click here.

For brief dinosaur fact sheets, click here.





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