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Its main food was probably conifers, which were the dominant plant when the large sauropods lived. Secondary food sources may have included Gingkos, seed ferns, cycads, bennettitaleans, ferns, club mosses, and horsetails.
Mamenchisaurus may have travelled in herds and possibly migrated when they depleted their local food supply. Mamenchisaurus may have hatched from eggs, like other sauropods. Sauropod eggs have been found in a linear pattern and not in nests; presumably the eggs were laid as the animal was walking. It is thought that sauropods did not take care of their eggs. Sauropods life spans may have been in the order of 100 years.
It used to be thought that the sauropods (like Mamenchisaurus, Brachiosaurus and Apatosaurus) and Stegosaurus had a second brain. Paleontologists now think that what they thought was a second brain was just an enlargement in the spinal cord in the hip area. This enlargement was larger than the animal's tiny brain.
Mamenchisaurus was a sauropod, whose intelligence (as measured by its relative brain to body weight, or EQ) was the among the lowest of the dinosaurs.
WHEN MAMENCHISAURUS LIVED
Mamenchisaurus lived during the late Jurassic Period, from about 156 million to 145 million years ago. The late Jurassic was a period when the Earth was very warm, the sea level were high, and there was no polar ice. This was also the time when the enormous sauropods (long-necked dinosaurs) roamed the Earth; these giants included Camarasaurus, Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, and Brachiosaurus. Also present were Stegosaurus, Tuojiangosaurus, Allosaurus, Supersaurus, Coelurosaur, and many other dinosaurs.
Mamenchisaurus was named by Chung Chien Young, a Chinese paleontologist, in 1954. Fossils have been found in China.
Mamenchisaurus belonged to the:
(and Other Prehistoric Creatures)
For brief dinosaur fact sheets, click here.
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