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This sauropod, the Nigersaurus, was originally discovered in fossilized form in the Republic of Niger, hence the name. Now, it lives thanks to our efforts and our science. Notice the long tail. The flat skull. However, this dinosaur is smaller than some of its cousins. Now that we have them to study, perhaps we can learn why.

Nigersaurus is a genus of sauropod dinosaur that originated from Early Cretaceous Africa. A relatively small sauropod, Nigersaurus is available in the Herbivore Dinosaur Pack and can be unlocked by progressing through the Security Division on Isla Pena.

Characteristics

Comparable in size to a modern African elephant, Nigersaurus was a fairly small quadruped dinosaur with a small head, relatively short neck, thick hind legs, and a prominent tail. With large fenestrae and thin bones, its skull was specialized for feeding. Nigersaurus had a wide muzzle filled with over 500 teeth, which were rapidly replaced about every 14 days. The base genome of the Nigersaurus is brown skin with a lighter colored underbelly.

Behaviour

Nigersaurus is a social sauropod that can live with a variety of other dinosaurs, including other sauropods, ornithomimosaurs, and hadrosaurs, due to its wide population stats. Unlike other sauropods, it cannot be housed with medium-sized and large carnivores, though it is safe with small carnivores such as Dilophosaurus and Proceratosaurus. Additionally, it is the only species of sauropod that eats from Ground Herbivore Feeders, which makes it a grazing animal. Like other sauropods, however, Nigersaurus enjoys palaeobotany benefits from Tree Ferns, Conifers, and Ginkgo plants.

Paleontology

When discovered in 1999, Nigersaurus was a startling find. The most notable feature of it is its broad jaws with a flattened edge across its front. Inside these jaws were hundreds of small teeth arranged at the front of the jaws. This would have allowed the Nigersaurus to crop low growing vegetation and mash it down into with ease and has earned it the nickname the 'Mesozoic lawnmower'. A further adaptation was the structure of the inner ear indicates that the head was usually carried close to the ground. These features may have been an adaptation to the soft plants that grew during the Early Cretaceous, as the continents continued to break apart and the climate became wetter, compared to the drier conditions of the Late Jurassic.

Nigersaurus is a member of the Rebbachisauridae family, an evolutionary offshoot of the Diplodocimorpha. These sauropods generally had short necks and tails and teeth more akin to hadrosaurs and ceratopsians rather than sauropods. They lived between the Late Jurassic and early stages of the Late Cretaceous and could be found on almost every continent.

Paleoecology

Nigersaurus lived in Early Cretaceous Niger in inland floodplains alongside the ornithopod Ouranosaurus, the spinosaurid Suchomimus, and the massive crocodilian Sarcosuchus.

Available genomes

Fossil icon Dig site Quality Number available
Sauropodfossilicon.png
Tegama Beds
★★
★★★
★★★★
2
6
12
8

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