The spiked tail of Tuojiangosaurus (American Museum of Natural History).


Tuojiangosaurus (Greek for "Tuo river lizard"); pronounced TOO-oh-jee-ANG-oh-SORE-us


Woodlands of Asia

Historical Period:

Late Jurassic (160-150 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 25 feet long and four tons



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Long, low skull; four spikes on tail


About Tuojiangosaurus

Paleontologists believe stegosaurs--the spiked, plated, elephant-sized herbivorous dinosaurs--originated in Asia, then crossed over to North America during the late Jurassic period.

Tuojiangosaurus, a near-complete fossil of which was found in China in 1973, appears to be one of the most primitive stegosaurs yet known, with anatomical features (lack of tall vertebral spines toward its rear end, teeth in the front of its mouth) not seen in later members of this breed. However, Tuojiangosaurus did retain one very characteristic stegosaur feature: the four paired spines at the end its tail, which it presumably used to inflict damage on the hungry tyrannosaurs and large theropods of its Asian habitat.

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Strauss, Bob. "Tuojiangosaurus." ThoughtCo, Jan. 25, 2017, thoughtco.com/tuojiangosaurus-1092998. Strauss, Bob. (2017, January 25). Tuojiangosaurus. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/tuojiangosaurus-1092998 Strauss, Bob. "Tuojiangosaurus." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/tuojiangosaurus-1092998 (accessed March 22, 2018).