Bellusaurus

Continuing the quite long series of short posts covering all manner of IVPP material we have the very little studied and perhaps even more rarely seen Bellusaurus. Pictured is one of two mounts at the IVPP, though neither are great and the bones are largely obscured.

Bellusaurus is known from the Middle Jurassic and comes from western China in the area that I have so far yet to visit as part of my field seasons in China due to various permit problems. There are apparently quite a few specimens known, though I’ve not come across any in our main collections (not that I have gone looking) though at least there are bits of two on display which is more than I can say for the amount of information available in the literature which seems conspicuous by its absence.

The animals are clearly small (about 4m in total length) and have been suggested to be juveniles by people who a) know sauropods much better than me and b) have seen the material. Still, I couldn’t spot any obvious indicators of them being youngsters on the admittedly poor mounts, so I’d suggest that it’s at least possible that this is, if not an adult size, close to it. There are other sauropods out there that are closer to this is size so it’d be a surprise, but not a shock.

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