Shunosaurus, meaning "Shu Lizard", is a genus of sauropod dinosaur from Middle Jurassic (Bathonian–Callovian) beds in Sichuan Province in China, 170 million years ago. The name derives from "Shu", an ancient name for Sichuan. It was collected from the Lower Shaximiao Formation in Dashanpu, Zigong. It shared the local Middle Jurassic landscape with other sauropods Datousaurus, Omeisaurus and Protognathosaurus, the possible ornithopod Xiaosaurus, and the early stegosaur Huayangosaurus, as well as the carnivorous Gasosaurus. Apatosaurus also had a club on it's tail like Shunosaurus.
Artist's impressionFirst described in 1983, Shunosaurus is now known from several complete or near-complete skeletons, making it anatomically one of the best known sauropods. The type species, S. lii, was described by Dong, Zhou, and Zhang in 1983. A second species, "S. ziliujingensis", has never been formally described, and remains a nomen nudum. Shunosaurus skeletons are on display at the Zigong Dinosaur Museum in Zigong, Sichuan Province, and the Beijing Museum of Natural History.
At around 10 metres long, Shunosaurus was fairly short-necked (for a sauropod) and had a short deep skull, with fairly robust spatulate teeth. In 1989 its tail was found to have ended in a club, probably used for fending off enemies.