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Learn more about the Nigersaurus

Quick Facts
Weight4536 kilos
Length9 meters
Height2.4 meters

Nigersaurus is a genus of Diplodocus-like sauropod dinosaur that lived 110 million years ago in the mid-Cretaceous period in what is now the Republic of Niger. It was a 30-foot-long herbivore that lived in a lush environment alongside predatory dinosaurs. Nigersaurus had a unique and delicate 6-foot skull that made it different from Diplodocus. It had a vast mouth lined with more than 500 teeth arranged in about 50 columns and almost comically wide jaws. 

"Nigersaurus" means "Niger lizard", the name under which it was discovered in the country of Niger.

Nigersaurus had a short neck, was about 9 m long and weighed about 4 tons compared to a modern elephant. It had a small brain like other dinosaurs. It has neural spines on its vertebrae. 

Nigersaurus has been called to be a "Mesozoic Cow", it fed with its head close to the ground, sweeping its neck from side to side, sucking up any vegetation within reach. In addition, its eye socket was disproportionately large by sauropod standards. The nigersaur had an extreme sense of smell despite having elongated nostrils.

How many teeth does a nigersaurus have?

The nigersaur had a total of 500 teeth, along the front edge of its square jaw were more than 50 rows of aligned teeth, and the scientists found nine replacement teeth, ready to step up to bat when its predecessor wore out.

Who named the nigersaurus?

Paleontologist Taquet discovered the first large-scale find and named it Nigersaurus in reference to the country where it was discovered during his expeditions to Niger.

What did the nigersaurus eat?

Nigersaurus was a plant-eating dinosaur that lived in a riparian habitat, eating soft plants such as ferns, horsetails and angiosperms.

What does nigersaurus mean?

Nigersaurus means "Niger reptile" a genus of rebbachisaurid sauropod dinosaur.

Where was the nigersaurus found?

Nigersaurus was found in the Sahara Desert in what is now Niger, West Africa.

Where did they live?

When did they live?

What was your diet?

What kind of dinosaurs are they?

What type of species are they?

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  • Federico Fanti, Andrea Cau, Mohsen Hassine & Michela Contessi (2013). "A new sauropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Tunisia with extreme avian-like pneumatization". Nature Communications 4 (2080): 1-7. doi:10.1038/ncomms3080. 
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  • Ibiricu, L.; Lamanna, M.; Martinez, R.; Casal, G.; Cerda, I.; Martinez, G.; Salgado, L. (2017). "A novel form of postcranial skeletal pneumaticity in a sauropod dinosaur: implications for the paleobiology of Rebbachisauridae". Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 62. doi:10.4202/app.00316.2016. 
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  • Marugán-Lobón, J. S.; Chiappe, L. M.; Farke, A. A. (2013). "The variability of inner ear orientation in saurischian dinosaurs: testing the use of semicircular canals as a reference system for comparative anatomy". PeerJ 1: e124. doi:10.7717/peerj.124. PMC 3740149. PMID 23940837
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geological time 3

Fun Facts

  • The "Nigersaurus" means "Niger lizard" and its name refers to the country where it was discovered.
  • Nigersaurus was a herbivore that lived in a lush environment.
  • Nigersaurus had a very unusual mouth for a sauropod with a total of 500 teeth. 
  • Despite elongated nostrils, the Nigersaurus had a strong sense of smell.

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