Spinophorosaurus (Greek for "spine-bearing lizard"); pronounced SPY-no-FOR-oh-SORE-us
Woodlands of Africa
Middle-Late Jurassic (175-160 million years ago)
Size and Weight:
About 50 feet long and 10 tons
Large size; spikes on end of tail
Most of the sauropods of the late Jurassic period didn't have much in the way of defensive armament; that was a development that awaited the titanosaurs of the later Cretaceous.
A weird exception to this rule was Spinophorosaurus, which sported a Stegosaurus-like "thagomizer" (i.e., bundle of symmetrical spikes) on the end of its long tail, probably to deter the ravenous theropods of its African habitat. Aside from this odd feature, Spinophorosaurus is notable for being one of the few African sauropods yet identified, which sheds some light on the evolution and worldwide migration of these giant herbivores.