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Temporal range: Middle Jurassic, 164.6 Ma
Xinjiangtitan shanshanesis Skeletal.png
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Clade: Saurischia
Clade: Sauropodomorpha
Clade: Sauropoda
Family: Mamenchisauridae
Genus: Xinjiangtitan
Wu et al., 2013
Type species
Xinjiangtitan shanshanesis
Wu et al., 2013

Xinjiangtitan ([ɕintɕiaŋtitan]) is an extinct genus of mamenchisaurid sauropod known from the Middle Jurassic Qiketai Formation in Piqan County of Xinjiang, northwestern China. Estimates of body length for the holotype are approximately 30–32 m (98–105 ft) in length, making Xinjiangtitan one of the longest sauropods known.[1] In 2016 Gregory S. Paul gave a length of 30 meters (100 feet) and a weight of 40 tonnes (44 short tons).[2] In 2020 Molina-Perez and Larramendi gave a lower estimation of 27 meters (88.6 ft) and 25 tonnes (27.5 short tons), with a total height of 17 meters (56 ft) making it one of the tallest known dinosaurs.[3]


Xinjiangtitan was first described and named by Wu Wen-hao, Zhou Chang-fu, Oliver Wings, Toru Sekiha and Dong Zhiming in 2013 and the type species is Xinjiangtitan shanshanesis. The generic name is derived from Xinjiang where the bones were discovered in 2012, and from titan, giant in Greek mythology. The specific name, shanshanesis, is derived from an alternative name for the county where it was found, Shanshan, named after the ancient Shanshan Kingdom. The specific name is occasionally misspelled as "shanshanensis" or "shashaensis", which are invalid spellings even though the correct form would indeed have been "shanshanensis" rather than shanshanesis, as the Latin suffix "-ensis" meaning "from", was used to create the name. Xinjiangtitan is known solely from the holotype SSV12001, a partial but, apart from some erosion, well preserved in situ postcranial skeleton including the first two caudal vertebrae, all cervical vertebrae, and all dorsal (12) and sacral vertebrae (5), as well as several cervical, dorsal and sacral ribs, a partial left leg (including the femur, tibia, fibula and a metatarsal), left and right pubic bones and right ischium.[1] While in the describing paper it was said to be from the Qigu Formation, this is incorrect, and it is actually in layers belonging to the Qiketai Formation.[4]


Xinjiangtitan (adjusted).jpg

Xinjiangtitan was diagnosed based on the following traits: the presence of a ventral keel on the penultimate cervical centrum that forms a small semicircular process under the distal articular facet; both cervical vertebrae are relatively elongated; the sacricostal yoke excepts the first sacral rib; and an extremely robust femur.

The series of dorsal vertebrae has a length of 372 centimetres. The thighbone is 165 centimetres long, and the tibia is 98 cm.[1]

Xinjiangtitan (gray) compared to selected giant sauropods


Among sauropods, a phylogenetic analysis places Xinjiangtitan as the sister taxon of Mamenchisaurus, the only other mamenchisaurid included. Xinjiangtitan shares several derived characters with diplodocids, including prominent ambiens process of pubis, relatively short hind limb and fourth trochanter on the femur that is caudomedially developed.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Wu, Wen-hao; Zhou, Chang-Fu; Wings, Oliver; Toru, Sekiya; Dong, Zhi-ming (2013). "A new gigantic sauropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of Shanshan, Xinjiang" (PDF). Global Geology (in Chinese). 32 (3): 437–446. doi:10.3969/j.issn.1004-5589.2013.03.002.
  2. ^ Paul, Gregory S. (2016). The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs 2nd Edition. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. p. 207.
  3. ^ Molina-Perez & Larramendi (2020). Dinosaur Facts and Figures: The Sauropods and Other Sauropodomorphs. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. pp. 55 & 251.
  4. ^ Maisch, Michael W.; Matzke, Andreas T. (2019-01-01). "First record of a eusauropod (Dinosauria: Sauropoda) from the Upper Jurassic Qigu-Formation (southern Junggar Basin, China), and a reconsideration of Late Jurassic sauropod diversity in Xinjiang". Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie - Abhandlungen. 291 (1): 109–117. doi:10.1127/njgpa/2019/0792. ISSN 0077-7749.