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Malawisaurus dixeyi

Up Close and Personal

mounted reconstruction on lone from Dallas Museum of Natural History

"Dinosaurs of Texas" Exhibit at the Grace Museum 2003-04

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This nearly complete fossil was found in Africa.  They did not want the original bones to leave the country so cast it for the Dallas Museum.  My opinion (and other's), the Boneheads do a better job of casting.

Period: Lower Cretaceous

Location: Zambezi Valley, Malawi, Africa

Size: ? mm long


Malawisaurus may not be from Texas, but several Sauropods did live here.  This reproduction is representative.

It is also small enough to just barely fit into the room.


Head and Neck

Sauropods had small heads compared to the rest of their bodies.

Notice the teeth.  They are pegs.  Dinosaurs did not have teeth specialized teeth like mammals have.

Notice the long thin stabilizers in the neck vertebra.

One of the odd characteristics of the Sauropod head is their sinuses.  These large cavities are in front of the eye sockets not at the end of the muzzle.  In paintings, the fleshed-out nose is drawn above the cavities.  The old belief of aquatic Sauropods dictated this location; no one had actually investigated the evidence.  In 2001, a new theory proposed the sinus cavities were used like those of Hadrosaurs, to make noise.  The study showed the external nose would have been made of cartilage that ran down the top of the skull and opened near the end of the snout.


Hip & Shoulder

Notice that the femur and humerus do not have ball ends, like mammals have.


Leg & Foot

Sauropods had a Digitigrade stance (metatarsals are held off the ground) in the front and a Semi-digitigrade stance (the ankle is held off the ground) in the back.

Notice the claws.  This is one of the attributes of Saurischian dinosaurs making it a closer relative of T. rex than a Hadrosaur.


Malawisaurus with the humerus of a Alamosaurus

The Alamosaurus was so big that only parts have been found.  This one bone was nearly as tall as the whole leg of the Malawisaurus.  No way the animal fit into the room.

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