Suzhousaurus (meaning "giant sloth-like reptile from Suzhou") is a genus of extinct therizinosauroid dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous-age Xinminpu Group of the Yujingzi Basin, Gansu, China. It is known from two partial postcranial skeletons, including a distinctive upper arm that establishes it as a therizinosauroid. A study published in the journal Acta Geologica Sinica, found the animal's partial skeleton, which includes most of the back vertebrae, the shoulder, the front leg and part of the hips. Li and coauthors, who described the genus, performed a cladistic analysis that found the genus to be more derived than Beipiaosaurus and Falcarius, less derived than Alxasaurus and true therizinosaurids, and the sister taxon of Nothronychus, forming a clade with it. Along with "Nanshiungosaurus" bohlini, which may be about the same age, Suzhousaurus was one of the largest known Early Cretaceous therizinosauroids.
Suzhousaurus's closest known relative may be Nothronychus, fossils of which have only been found in somewhat younger rocks in New Mexico and Utah. This suggests that dinosaurs regularly traversed a transitory land bridge between North America and Asia early in the Cretaceous Period.
- ^ Li, D., You, H., and Zhang, J. (2008). "A new specimen of Suzhousaurus megatherioides (Dinosauria: Therizinosauroidea) from the Early Cretaceous of northwestern China." Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 45(7): 769–779.
- ^ Li D.; Peng C.; You H.; Lamanna, M.C.; Harris, J.D.; Lacovara, K.J.; and Zhang J. (2007). "A large therizinosauroid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Early Cretaceous of northwestern China". Acta Geologica Sinica (English edition) 81 (4): 539–549.