Mussaurus was a herbivore (plant-eater) that lived in
around about 215 million years ago.
Mussaurus is known only from
eggs and infant skeletons, which are about 8 to 15 inches (20 to 37 centimeters)
long, but adults are believed to have grown to about 10 feet (3 meters) in length
and weighed around 150 pounds (70 kilograms).
The infant skeletons that have been found, have
very unusual proportions (including short snouts and large eyes) compared to an adult
however it is known that they are definitely
from the examination of pelvic and limb bones. Although no adult
Mussaurus have yet been found, it is believed that its proportions would be closer
to those typical for
The name "Mussaurus" means "mouse lizard", and could be said to
be something of a misnomer, given the adults were not unusually small.
Mussaurus was a member of the Saurischia ("lizard-hipped") order of dinosaurs. What this means, is that although Mussaurus was not closely related to lizards, it did have similarly shaped pelvic bones.
Mussaurus was a Prosauropod - a member of a group of related early herbivorous (plant-eating) dinosaurs which had long necks, small heads, shorter forelimbs than hind limbs, and a thumb claw.
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