The Ouranosaurus was a genus of dinosaurs that inhabited our planet in what we call the Cretaceous period (about 110 million years ago). It is classified within the group of the dinosaurs iguanodontiano hadrosauridos.
This genus would have had a relatively medium size. It was about 7 meters long and weighed about 4 tons. From its back and tail protruded a kind of spines that represent that the Ouranosaurus would have possessed a huge hump.
Read on to find out the most complete information about the Ouranosaurus of the entire network – find out everything about this herbivorous dinosaur from the Cretaceous!
- The Ouranosaurus belongs to the Animalia kingdom.
- This dinosaur corresponds to the Chordata phylum.
- Its class is Sauropsida.
- The specimen belongs to the superorder Dinosauria.
- Its order is called Ornithischia.
- It corresponds to the suborder designated Ornithopoda.
- Of the suborder Iguanodontia.
- This animal is part of the family Iguanodontidae.
- Finally, its genus is the Ouranosaurus.
History of the Ouranosaurus
The territory in which he lived is what we know today as the African continent of today. This specimen turned out to be a genuine hadrosauroid iguanodontian, whose remains were found in a formation that we now know as Echkar, in 1966.
The review or detail of this specimen was made 10 years after the discovery, by the scientist Philippe Taquet, from the country of France, who was also responsible for giving it that name.
Characteristics of the Ouranosaurus
It says that the specimen based its diet on the faithful consumption of vegetables that it found on the surface of its habitat, in addition to the fact that it could use a pair of limbs to be able to move from one point to another.
However, when this animal considered it necessary, it decided to use all its extremities without this posing any problem, so it was an additional resource that helped it to defend itself from other predators or to obtain more and better food for both it and its own.
As for its length we can say that the maximum it could have had is about 700 centimeters, while its weight was close to 4000 kilograms.
Regarding the dental structure that this animal had, we can affirm that in reality it did not present dental elements in the front of the jaw area, however, what we can find was a structure similar to a beak (like that of the birds we know today), but with flat characteristics, a beak of much greater size than the beak of the specimen known as Iguanodon.
In addition, if we stop focusing on the frontal zone of the jaw area, we can see that the intermediate zone of that structure did have quite solid dental elements, which could have served to a great extent for the massive chewing of the vegetables that would have been previously extracted with the bird’s beak-like structure.
Therefore, we can also detail the cheeks of considerable size that the specimen had, which had the same function as in other dinosaurs, to prevent food extracted from trees or shrubs from spilling or falling, this made the process of feeding the animal much less laborious.
If we now study a little more the area of his skull, we can see that this unique specimen has a depression right in the temporal zone, ie in that area which is just behind the eyeballs, also a strange but important muscle identified as capiti-mandibularis, was totally linked to the jaw area, allowing a greater capacity of bite force and thus better.
The previously mentioned detail is not a minor one, because the presence of this muscle was something fundamental in this strange specimen, since this characteristic provided him with a bite of great power, a bite that probably was not supported by any of his predators, for which it is affirmed that it was used as a fundamental means of defense for his survival, besides that he also had to use it to feed himself better.
Another very important detail of these specimens is that they had a series of bumps that in reality represented signs of exhibitionism or social differentiation, especially at the time when these specimens needed to mate and get a female in order to continue giving life to their species.
These famous bumps were located in a depression in the area of the nasal bone structure, just in what is known as the cranial ceiling.
We can also notice that this specimen had an interesting claw in each of its hands, precisely in the finger that we know as thumb, this claw was not of a considerable size but it is said that it was quite useful to perform certain important maneuvers in order to get the necessary food.
On the other hand, the famous dinosaur known as Iguanodon also had a very similar quality, however, this last animal mentioned had such a claw but much larger, so perhaps it could give more uses than the dinosaur protagonist of this text.
The other fingers of the specimen came to form a kind of cap, which is quite possible that it was very useful for the task of moving from one point to another point, likewise, it is said that when it moved using the four limbs it possessed, probably the bone elements of this animal could have suffered frequent dislocations.
Therefore, in order to avoid this type of situation, the most appropriate thing to do was for these bony elements to be linked, and that is precisely how they were found, the bony elements in the wrist area seemed to be totally united to avoid the malfunctioning of the structure in general.
On the other hand, the other extremities had to be of considerable length and resistant so that they could have supported the entire volume of the animal’s body, only in this way could they have done so. The bone element known as the femur is said to be the same length as the bone element identified as the tibia.
A particularity that had much similarity with an animal called Spinosaurus, was the great famous sail composed of elements of the skin, sail that therefore had to be supported entirely by a series of spines, which were distributed around the area of the back and even in a good part of the structure of the tail of the animal.
In this case, it is stated that the “sail” had the function of regulating the temperature of the body of this unique prehistoric being.
A big difference that this dinosaur had with another specimen known as Dimetrodon (which was not a dinosaur but a pelicosaurus), was certainly this same candle composed of elements of the skin, since in this case the bone elements that were responsible for supporting the structure actually became not as robust as in the case of the dinosaur star of this article.