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Quaesitosaurus

Quaesitosaurus
"Abnormal or Extraordinary Lizard"
  • Plant eater
  • Small head with peg-like teeth
  • Walked on four legs
  • Wide snout and large ear openings


ANATOMY
Quaesitosaurus (meaning "abnormal or extraordinary lizard") was a long-necked, whip-tailed plant-eater with good hearing. Quaesitosaurus' skull was long and had a wide snout and a large ear opening. The peg-like teeth were adapted for eating soft food, perhaps aquatic plants. Quaesitosaurus may have been about 75 feet (23 m) long.



DIET AND TEETH
Quaesitosaurus was an herbivore (it ate only plants) that had peg-like teeth. It must have eaten a tremendous amount of plant material each day to sustain itself. It swallowed leaves whole, without chewing them, and may have had gastroliths (stomach stones) in its stomach to help digest tough plant material. The blunt teeth were useful for stripping foliage.

It may have eaten conifers, gingkos, seed ferns, cycads, bennettitaleans, ferns, club mosses, and horsetails.

WHEN QUAESITOSAURUS LIVED
Quaesitosaurus lived during the late Cretaceous Period, roughly 85-80 million years ago.

NAME
Quaesitosaurus (meaning "abnormal or extraordinary lizard") was named by Kurzanov and Bannikov in 1983.

FOSSILS AND HABITAT
Quaesitosaurus is known only from a partial skull found in the southeastern Gobi desert, Mongolia. This environment was semi-arid during the Mesozoic Era.

WHY WAS THE NECK SO LONG?
Many sauropods, like Quaesitosaurus, held their neck more or less horizontally (parallel to the ground). The long neck may have been used to poke into forests to get foliage that was otherwise unavailable to the huge, lumbering varieties of sauropods who could not venture into forests because of their size. Alternatively, the long neck may have enabled this sauropod to eat soft pteridophytes (horsetails, club mosses, and ferns). These soft-leaved plants live in wet areas, where sauropods couldn't venture, but perhaps the sauropod could stand on firm ground and browse in nearby wetlands.

BEHAVIOR
Quaesitosaurus may have travelled in herds and may have migrated when they depleted their local food supply. Quaesitosaurus 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. Sauropod life spans may have been on the order of 100 years.

INTELLIGENCE
It used to be thought that the sauropods (like Quaesitosaurus, Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus and Apatosaurus) and the stegosaurid 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.

Quaesitosaurus was a sauropod, whose intelligence (as measured by its relative brain to body weight, or EQ) was the among the lowest of the dinosaurs.

EQ


LOCOMOTION
Quaesitosaurus moved slowly on four legs (as determined from fossilized tracks and its leg length and estimated mass).

CLASSIFICATION
Quaesitosaurus was a huge herbivorous dinosaur, a saurischian ("lizard-hipped" dinosaurs, the ancestors of birds), a sauropodomorph (long-necked, long-tailed plant-eaters who walked on four legs), a sauropod (very large herbivores), and a member of the family Diplodocidae (peg-toothed sauropods, which included Diplodocus, Apatosaurus, Amargasaurus, Seismosaurus, Supersaurus, and others). The type species is Q. orientalis. Quaesitosaurus may be the same dinosaur as Nemegtosaurus. Quaesitosaurus is also known as Qaesitosaurus, Questiosaurus, Questosaurus

ACTIVITY
A Quaesitosaurus printout




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