Amargasaurus

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Amargasaurus

Amargasaurus (A-mar-gah-sore-us), Amarga Lizard, lived in the Early Cretaceous of South America. Amargasaurus was a long-necked sauropod dinosaur belonging to a group called "dicraeosaurs". These medium-sized sauropods lived in Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous of Africa and South America, where medium size ornithischians like stegosaurs and iguanodonts were uncommon, so the dicraeosaurs filled their ecological role.


Content List

1. Genera & species

2. Characteristics

a. Size

b. Behavior

3. History of Discovery

4. Paleoenvironment

5. References


Genera and Species

Classification: Sauropoda, Dicraeosauridae.

Species: A. cazaui


Characteristics

Amargasaurus was a medium size sauropod with a short neck. It had long spines running along most of its neck and back, with the spines being longest on the neck and becoming much shorter along the back, creating a "sail" over the hips. It has been speculated in the past that the spikes could have formed a sail over the neck, though most scientists today believe the spikes were separate. The spines could have been used for defense and were almost certainly a display feature.


Size

LENGTH: 9 m (30 ft). WEIGHT: 2 - 3 tons.


Behavior

It was a low to medium browser and could have had the same social behavior as its diplodocid relatives.


History of Discovery

Discovered in 1991 by Salgado, L. and Bonaparte, J.F and known from a nearly complete skeleton including braincase, but missing the rest of the skull and the tail.


Paleoenvironment

Found in South America western Argentina in well watered forested plains with short dry seasons. The rock formations where Amargasaurus was found show that it lived alongside many other sauropod dinosaurs, leading scientists to believe that their feeding habits must have been different from each other to allow them all to exist side by side.


References

1.	Paul, G. (2010). The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs (pp. 4440). Princeton, New Jersey: University Press Princeton.
2.	Worth, G. (1999). The Dinosaur Encyclopaedia dev13 (pp. 304). Scarborough, Western Australia: HyperWorks Reference Software.