Skeleton of Tuojiangosaurus

  • China (Sichuan )
  • Tuojiangosaurus multispinus Dong et al., 1977

Tuojiangosaurus was a dinosaur genus from the group of Stegosauria. He lived in the early Jurassic in East Asia.


Tuojiangosaurus reached a length of seven meters and was a medium-sized Stegosaurus. Like all members of this group he wore on his back and tail, a double row of bony plates ( osteoderms ). There were 17 pairs of plates, round and plate-shaped, but were still built triangular, spine- shaped on the rear half of the fuselage and the tail at the back and on the front half of the fuselage. The plates at the height of the pelvis were up to 75 centimeters in length, the largest, while they were smaller toward the back to the tail.

The function of these plates is not entirely clear, discusses the enemy defense, courtship behavior, thermoregulation or a combination of these tasks. At the tip of the tail Tuojiangosaurus wore one or two pairs of sharp spines that served the enemy defense, as well as two spines in the shoulder region.

As with most stegosaurs both front as well as rear legs very strong, and the hind limbs were significantly longer than the front. Thus, the head was positioned very close to the ground.

The skull was extremely flat and elongated, the tip of the snout was toothless as with most stegosaurs. What is striking is the large number of teeth. These were adapted as with all stegosaurs small and nearly triangular and a plant-based diet.

Discovery and designation

Fossil remains of Tuojiangosaurus were found in the 1970s in the Shaximiao formation in the Chinese province of Sichuan and Dong Zhiming et al. described. ( In the same formation as well as other Stegosauria Huayangosaurus and Chungkingosaurus were found. ) The name derives from the River Tuo Jiang, a tributary of the Yangtze River in Sichuan, from. The only described species and therefore type species is T. multispinus.

The finds are dated to the Upper Jurassic ( Oxfordian ) and an age 163-157 million years.