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Temporal range: Aptian
August 1, 2012 - Malawisaurus on Display at the Royal Ontario Museum.jpg
Display at the Royal Ontario Museum
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Sauropodomorpha
Clade: Sauropoda
Clade: Titanosauria
Clade: Eutitanosauria
Clade: Lithostrotia
Genus: Malawisaurus
Jacobs et al., 1993
M. dixeyi
Binomial name
Malawisaurus dixeyi
(Haughton, 1928) [originally Gigantosaurus, preoccupied]

Malawisaurus (meaning "Malawi lizard") was a genus of sauropod dinosaur (specifically a titanosaurian). It lived in what is now Africa, specifically Malawi, during the Aptian age of the Early Cretaceous Period. It is one of the few titanosaurs for which skull material has been found.


A reconstruction of the head

Relatively small by sauropod standards, Malawisaurus reached lengths of about 16 metres (52 ft), and weighed about 10 tonnes (11 short tons).[1] Like some other titanosaurs, ossicles have been found which are believed to represent dermal scutes that covered the skin.

The vertebrae from the middle part of its tail had elongated centra.[2] Malawisaurus had vertebral lateral fossae that resembled shallow depressions.[3] Fossae that similarly resemble shallow depressions are known from Saltasaurus, Alamosaurus, Aeolosaurus, and Gondwanatitan.[3]


Size comparison

It was named by Louis L. Jacobs and colleagues, Maeve Mercredi Fourie and was originally described in 1928 by Sidney H. Haughton as a species of Gigantosaurus (an invalid name for the diplodocid currently known as Tornieria). Haughton considered it closely related to the species G.robustus (later the type species of Janenschia).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Paul, G.S., 2010, The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs, Princeton University Press p. 207
  2. ^ "Caudal Vertebrae," Tidwell, Carpenter, and Meyer (2001). Page 145.
  3. ^ a b "Caudal Vertebrae," Tidwell, Carpenter, and Meyer (2001). Page 147.


  • S. H. Haughton. 1928. On some reptilian remains from the Dinosaur Beds of Nyasaland. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa 16:67-75
  • Paul, Gregory S. (2010) The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs.
  • Tidwell, V., Carpenter, K. & Meyer, S. 2001. New Titanosauriform (Sauropoda) from the Poison Strip Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation (Lower Cretaceous), Utah. In: Mesozoic Vertebrate Life. D. H. Tanke & K. Carpenter (eds.). Indiana University Press, Eds. D.H. Tanke & K. Carpenter. Indiana University Press. 139-165.

External links[edit]