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Fossil range: Middle Jurassic
Skull of Omeisaurus tianfuensis Beijing Museum of Natural History.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Sauropodomorpha
Infraorder: Sauropoda
Genus: Omeisaurus
Young, 1939
  • O. junghsiensis Young, 1939 (type)
  • O. changshouensis Young, 1958
  • O. fuxiensis Dong, Zhou & Zhang, 1983
  • O. tianfuensis He, Li, Cai & Gao, 1984
  • O. luoquanensis He, Li & Cai, 1988
  • O. maoianus Tang, Jin, Kang, & Zhang, 2001

Omeisaurus (meaning "Omei lizard") is a genus of sauropod dinosaur from the Late Jurassic Period of what is now China. Its name comes from Mount Emei, where it was discovered.

Omeisaurus tianfuensis on display in Hong Kong.

Like other sauropods, Omeisaurus was herbivorous and large. It measured 10 to 15.2 metres (30 to 50 ft) long, 4 metres (12 ft) high and weighed 4 tons. It had the typical bulky body and long neck of other dinosaurs in its suborder. Unlike many sauropods, however, its nostrils were located close to the end of its nose. The back of the Omeisaurus was higher at its hips than at its shoulders.

Not only did Omeisaurus have a long neck, it also had several more neck vertebrae than average sauropods (17). The vertebrae themselves were also longer and bigger. Large herds of Omeisaurus probably roamed the late Jurassic countryside, alongside such late Jurassic stegosaurids as Tuojiangosaurus and Chungkingosaurus. Omeisaurus was probably the most common late Jurassic sauropod in China.

Omeisaurus was first described in 1939. It was named after the sacred mountain Omeshian, which is were the first fossil example of Omeisaurus was found. Most skeletons of Omeisaurus were found in the 1970s and 1980s, during the great “Chinese Dinosaur rush”. There have been six species of Omeisaurus named so far: O. junghsiensis, O. changshouensis, O. fuxiensis, O. tianfuensis, O. luoquanensis, and O. maoianus. All of these but the last were named after the locations where they were found. O. fuxiensis was the smallest species, measuring around 35 feet (11 m) long. O. tianfuensis had the longest neck of the genus, around 30 feet (9.1 m) long. The only dinosaur with a longer neck was Mamenchisaurus. A club tail fossil discovered in the same bone bed as the Omeisaurus fossils was thought to belong to this genus, but is now believed to belong to a large specimen of Shunosaurus.

Mounted skeletons of Omeisaurus are on display at the Zigong Dinosaur Museum in Zigong, Sichuan Province and at Beipei Museum, near Chongqing, both in China.


It was once classified as a member of the Cetiosauridae family, which had long been a wastebasket taxon. The species O. fuxiensis is sometimes confused with Zigongosaurus, but the two are based on different material despite having the same species name.


  • Dong Zhiming (1988). Dinosaurs from China. China Ocean Press, Beijing & British Museum (Natural History). ISBN 0-565-01073-5.  
  • Britt, Carpenter et al. (2002). Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs.. Publications international, Ltd., Lincolnwood Illinois.. ISBN 0-7853-5561-8

External links



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