Massospondylus Dinosaur Facts

Dinosaur Jungle

Dinosaur Crosswords

Dinosaur Facts
   Amazing Dinosaurs
   Family Tree
   Life Span
   Living Dinosaurs?
      Triassic Period
      Jurassic Period
      Cretaceous Period
      African Dinosaurs
      Antarctic Dinosaurs
      Asian Dinosaurs
      Australian Dinosaurs
      European Dinosaurs
      Indian Dinosaurs
      N. American Dinosaurs
      S. American Dinosaurs

Dinosaur Jokes

Dinosaur Museums
   Australia Dinosaur Museums
   Canada Dinosaur Museums
   UK Dinosaur Museums
   USA Dinosaur Museums

Dinosaur Names

Dinosaur Pictures

Dinosaur Scientists
   Charles Darwin
   Mary Anning
   Sir Richard Owen
   More Dinosaur Scientists

Dinosaur Types
   Tyrannosaurus Rex
   More Dinosaur Types

Dinosaur Word Search

Other Prehistoric Animals
   Mammal-like Reptiles
   Meganeura Monyi
   Sea Scorpions
   Spiny Sharks
   More Prehistoric Animals

Dinosaur Links
   Dinosaur Coloring
   Dinosaur Hangman
   Dinosaurs News
   Dinosaurs Parks

Education - Math Downloads
   Fun With Figures
   Making Math More Fun
   Math Bingo
   Math Riddle Book
   Download Math eBooks

Education - Reading Downloads
   Child Learning Reading
   Dolch Sight Words
   Phonics Bingo
   Robot Reading Games
   Sight Word Bingo

Education - Science Downloads
   24 Hour Science Projects
   Super Science Fair Projects
   Download Science eBooks


Dinosaur Jungle   >   Dinosaur Names   >   Massospondylus
Dinosaur Jungle   >   Dinosaur Types   >   Massospondylus



dinosaur picture massospondylus

Click here for more Massospondylus Pictures

Scientific Classification
  Kingdom Animalia
  Phylum Chordata
  Class Sauropsida
  Superorder Dinosauria
  Order Saurischia
  Suborder Sauropodomorpha
  Infraorder Prosauropoda
  Family Plateosauridae
  Genus Massospondylus
Massospondylus was a herbivore (plant-eater) that lived in Southern Africa and North America, about 208 to 204 million years ago, during the early Jurassic period.

Massospondylus was around 13 feet (4 meters) long, and its name, chosen by Sir Richard Owen (who also coined the term of "dinosaur") means "massive vertebra" or "elongated vertebra" (referring to the large bones in the creature's neck).

Massospondylus had a tiny head on the end of a very long and flexible neck. Its hands had five fingers, and could be used for both walking and grasping, and its thumbs were each equipped with a large claw.

Polished stones ("gastroliths") have been found inside Massospondylus skeletons. Just like many birds do, Massospondylus is believed to have swallowed stones to help it grind up tough food. When the stones were worn smooth and of no further use, Massospondylus would have regurgitated the stones, and swallowed new rough rocks to replace them.

Six Massospondylus eggs were found in South Africa in the 1970s. When the eggs were finally opened and the fossilized extracted after a 30 year wait, the eggs were found to contain near-hatchlings with no teeth. The lack of teeth has led some scientists to conclude that some degree of after-birth care may have been necessary, because the hatchlings would probably have been unable to feed themselves.


Massospondylus Timeline:

Massospondylus was a herbivore (plant-eater) that lived from 208 to 204 million years ago

Massospondylus was a herbivore (plant-eater) that lived from 208 to 204 million years ago

Related Information & Resources

See Also

Massospondylus Facts

Here is a summary of some of the key facts about Massospondylus:
  1. Massospondylus was a genus of dinosaur.

  2. "Massospondylus" means "longer vertebra". This name was chosen by Sir Richard Owen in 1854.

  3. Massospondylus was a member of the Saurischia ("lizard-hipped") order of dinosaurs. What this means, is that although Massospondylus was not closely related to lizards, it did have similarly shaped pelvic bones.

  4. Massospondylus 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.

  5. Massospondylus lived between about 208 million years ago and 204 million years ago, during the late Jurassic period.

  6. Massospondylus lived in North America and Southern Africa.

  7. Massospondylus was a herbivore (plant-eater).

  8. Massospondylus is thought to have swallowed stones which would have been used to help grind up tough plant material (some modern birds do the same thing). Fossils of these stones ("gastroliths") have been found in the same rocks as Massospondylus.

  9. Massospondylus was about 13 feet (4 meters) long.

  10. Massospondylus weighed about 1.5 tons.

24 Hour Science Projects

Discuss This Page

Please feel free to post your comments:

Linking to This Page

We do hope that you find this site useful. We welcome people linking to this website or citing us.

The URL of this web page, is:

If you want to link to this web page from your own web site, you can use the following HTML code:

You are also very welcome to tell your friends about us on Facebook:
Making Math More Fun - Math Games Package


Copyright © 2006-2018, Answers 2000 Limited

Disclosure: Our company's websites' content (including this website's content) includes advertisements for our own company's websites, products, and services, and for other organization's websites, products, and services. In the case of links to other organization's websites, our company may receive a payment, (1) if you purchase products or services, or (2) if you sign-up for third party offers, after following links from this website. Unless specifically otherwise stated, information about other organization's products and services, is based on information provided by that organization, the product/service vendor, and/or publicly available information - and should not be taken to mean that we have used the product/service in question. Additionally, our company's websites contain some adverts which we are paid to display, but whose content is not selected by us, such as Google AdSense ads. For more detailed information, please see Advertising/Endorsements Disclosures

Our sites use cookies, some of which may already be set on your computer. Use of our site constitutes consent for this. For details, please see Privacy.

Click privacy for information about our company's privacy, data collection and data retention policies, and your rights.

Contact Us   Privacy   Terms Of Use   Advertising/Endorsements Disclosures