Temporal range: Early Cretaceous
Xu et al., 2000
In 1994 the remains of a euornithopod were found near the village of Houzhuang, in Neixiang county in Henan. The type species, Nanyangosaurus zhugeii, was described by Xu Xing, Zhao Xijin, Lü Junchang, Huang Wanbo, Li Zhanyang and Dong Zhiming in 2000. The generic name is derived from the city of Nanyang. The specific name honours one of the most famous historic inhabitants of that city, the legendary strategist Zhuge Liang.
The specimen, holotype IVPP V 11821, was excavated in the Xiaguan redbeds of the Sangping Formation dating to the Albian stage. It consists of a partial skeleton lacking the skull. Eight posterior dorsal vertebrae, a sacrum of six vertebrae and a tail of thirty-six vertebrae have been preserved, together with a partial ischium, a forelimb and a hindlimb.
Nanyangosaurus was a rather small euornithpod with an estimated length of four to five metres. The length of the femur is 517 millimetres. The forelimbs were relatively long with a long hand. The first digit of the hand was completely absent including the first metacarpal; according to the describers this was not an accident of preservation but the actual condition of the living animal. The species would then not have possessed the thumb spike typical of its relatives.
- X. Xu, X.-J. Zhao, J.-C., W.-B. Huang, Z.-Y. Li and Z.-M. Dong, 2000, "A new iguanodontian from Sangping Formation of Neixiang, Henan and its stratigraphical implication", Vertebrata PalAsiatica 38(3): 176-191