Temporal range: Middle Jurassic, Bajocian–Bathonian
Tianchisaurus (meaning "heavenly pool lizard"), also spelt Tianchiasaurus, is a genus of ankylosaurian dinosaur from the middle Jurassic Period (Bajocian–Bathonian stages) Toutunhe Formation of China. If it actually belongs to the family Ankylosauridae as proposed by Dong Zhiming, it would be the earliest member of that family. Unlike other ankylosaurids, it lacked a bony club at the tip of its tail.
Discovery and naming
The holotype (IVPP V. 10614), discovered in 1974, consists of skull fragments, five cervicals, six dorsals, seven sacrals, and three caudals, limb fragments, scutes and some unidentifiable fragments.
The type specimen was informally referred to as "Jurassosaurus" after the 1993 film Jurassic Park, and the species epithet nedegoapeferima is formed from the surnames of the film's main stars: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Bob Peck, Martin Ferrero, Ariana Richards, and Joseph Mazzello. Director Steven Spielberg, who has funded Chinese dinosaur research, proposed the name. Dong Zhiming ultimately discarded the genus name "Jurassosaurus" (which is now a nomen nudum) in favor of Tianchisaurus, but retained the species name honoring the actors.
- Dong, Z. (1993). "An ankylosaur (ornithischian dinosaur) from the Middle Jurassic of the Junggar Basin, China." Vertebrata PalAsiatica 31:258-264.
- Atkinson, L. "TIANCHIASAURUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive". ‹http://www.dinochecker.com/dinosaurs/TIANCHIASAURUS›. Web access: 06th Aug 2020.
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