Temporal range: 160Ma
|Species:||† C. kuani|
Chialingosaurus (meaning "Chialing Lizard") is a genus of stegosaur similar to Kentrosaurus from the Upper Shaximiao Formation, Late Jurassic beds in Sichuan Province in China. Its age makes it one of the oldest species of stegosaurs, living about 160 million years ago. Since it was an herbivore, scientists think that Chialingosaurus probably ate ferns and cycads, which were plentiful during the period when Chialingosaurus was alive. Its name is taken from the Chialing River in southern China. It may grow up to 4 metres (13 ft) long and weighing just 150 kg, much less than other later stegosaurs.
Discovery and species
Chialingosaurus was collected by the geologist Kuan in 1957, in Quxian County. The dinosaur was named by paleontologist C. C. Young two years later, although only very incomplete fossilized remains of Chialingosaurus have been found, and those fossil remains belong to a juvenile. In 1969, Rodney Steel suggested that Chialingosaurus might have actually been an early ancestor of other stegosaurs, but it is difficult to tell: the type specimen, Chialingosaurus kuani is known from only one partial skeleton, the original material having been supplemented in 1978 by Zhou of the Municipal Museum of Chongqing.
Maidment listed Chialingosaurus kuani among the invalid stegosaur taxa in her phylogeny of Stegosauria. This was based upon previous work by Maidment & Wei in 2006 in which the authors were unable to identify any autapomorphies or unique character combinations for Chialingosaurus, therefore making it a nomen dubium.
- Maidment, Susannah C.R.; Guangbiao Wei (2006). "A review of the Late Jurassic stegosaurs (Dinosauria, Stegosauria) from the People's Republic of China". Geological Magazine 143 (5): 621–634. doi:10.1017/S0016756806002500. Retrieved 2008-06-29.
- Susannah C. R. Maidment, David B. Norman, Paul M. Barrett and Paul Upchurch (2008). Systematics and phylogeny of Stegosauria (Dinosauria: Ornithischia). Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, 6, pp 367-407 doi:10.1017/ S1477201908002459