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Euhelopus is a genus of macronarian sauropod dinosaur found in China. It lived during the Early Cretaceous (129-119 Ma) from the Barremian to Albian in what is now the Shandong Province. Euhelopus is noticeable for being the first dinosaur scientifically investigated from China. Unlike other sauropod findings, it has a relatively complete skull.

Etimology

Euhelopus is derived from the Greek "eu" (good, true), "helos" (marsh) and "pous" (foot), alluding to the broad-soled hind feet of Swedish swamp shoes that Wiman supposed belonged to a marsh-dwelling critter. The species epithet, zdanskyi, honors Austrian paleontologist Otto Zdansky who excavated most of its remains. The dinosaur was originally going to be named Helopus but this name already belonged to a genus of bird.

Description

Euhelopus' forelegs were proportionally longer than its hindlegs, giving it a sloping back and giving it more reach. Like other sauropods, it was a quadrupedal herbivore. Its teeth were inclined to the front. Euhelopus' skull was similar to that of Camarasaurus, Mamenchisaurus and Omeisaurus, but it is believed it may have been more closely related to titanosaurs. Euhelopus was roughly about 11-15 (50ft) meters long. However recent estimated the dinosaur to be smaller. In 2016, Gregory S. Paul estimated the animal to measure around 11 meters (30ft) long and weight it to be around 3.5 tonnes.

Discovery

The first remains of Euhelopus zdanskyi were discovered in the Mengyin Formation, Shandong Province, China, by Father R. Mertens in 1913. The holotype (PMU R233—tagged by Wiman as "specimen a") includes a partial skull, 28 vertebrae, a left shoulder girdle, and a left thigh.

Euhelopus in The Land Before Time

Euhelopus appears in the franchise, mostly as background characters. They are dark purple sauropods with yellow underbellies. They first appear in The Stone of Cold Fire. Many of them are also members of Bron's herd.

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