Dinosauria Online

Say hello to: OURANOSAURUS

OURANOSAURUS (oo-RAHN-o-sawr-us) "Valiant Lizard" (Touareg, a dialect of Niger, ourane = valiant, fearless = Greek sauros = lizard, because the natives use this word to describe fearless animals)

An Early Cretaceous ORNITHOPOD. This BIPEDAL plant eater was related to IGUANODON and was about the same size, it measured 23 feet (7m) long and 16.5 feet (5m) tall. But unlike Iguanodon, Ouranosaurus had very high SPINES on its vertebrae that ran down the middle of its back and TAIL. These spines may have supported a sail or fin that helped keep Ouranosaurus from overheating. Two complete specimens of this animal were found in the Sahara Desert of Niger, Africa. Ouranosaurus is the only known ORNITHISCHIAN with a sail.

*Facts* This Ornithopod was named by: P. Taquet in 1976 in Niger.

Althought Ouranosaurus is classed as an IGUANODONT, it had several features like those of HADROSAURS. Its head was long and flat, and it had a ducklike bill. This dinosaur was probably related to the ancestors of the hadrosaurs.

Classification: Iguanodontidae, Ornithopeda, Ornithischia