Amargasaurus: 10 Best Dinosaur Facts for Kids

Source by: PaleoGuy

Dinosaurs are a fascinating topic for many people. They are often seen as massive and terrifying creatures, which is likely why they live in our imaginations more than anywhere else.

The Amargasaurus is one such dinosaur that has intrigued scientists and dinosaur lovers alike. Is Amargasaurus a real dinosaur? Did Amargasaurus have sail or spines on its back? Though we may never know exactly what they were like, we can still learn about them through studying fossils and other evidence.

Here are 10 amazing facts about the Amargasaurus that your kids (or you) will find interesting!

Take a sneak view of 10 Amargasaurus facts that you are about to read:

1. Amargasaurus Name Meaning

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What does the name Amargasaurus mean? The name Amargasaurus means “bitter lizard”, named after the town Amarga in the desert state of Sonora, Mexico, where its fossils were first found.

The Amargasaurus (Amarga lizard) was a sauropod that lived during the early Cretaceous Period, which means it belonged to a group of long-necked, four-legged herbivores. Amargasaurus was initially reported in 1991, and one species got its scientific name Amargasaurus cazaui.

How to pronounce Amargasaurus? The pronunciaton of Amargasaurus is “ah-mar-gah-sore-us.” Simply divide the words into syllable-sized groups. After watching the video above, you might know the right Amargasaurus (/əˌmɑːrɡəˈsɔːrəs/) pronunciation.

2. Amargasaurus species and families

Amargasaurus (Amarga lizard) belong to the Dicraeosauridae families and their superfamily Diplodocoidea. According to the classification, Amargasaurus features a small head and a long tail. The branched neural spines of the Dicraeosauridae were substantially extended. In comparison to other known sauropods, Amargasaurus cazaui was the ultimate example of this phenomenon.

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Among the Diplodocoidea, there have been the most famous dinosaurs like Supersaurus, Diplodocus, Apatosaurus, and Amphicoelias. They share the same characteristics, such as the very long neck, small head, and broad snout equipped with pencil-like teeth. Reconstructing the inner ear for the study also showed that Amargasaurus would have had less sensitive hearing than many other sauropod dinosaurs.

3. Amargasaurus spikes or sail

Amargasaurus lived 130 million years ago in Argentina and represents a unique group of dwarfed, short-necked sauropods. This sauropod is unique for the two parallel rows of tall spines sticking out of Amargasaurus neck and back.

Each spine could grow up to 2 feet (60 cm) long 6. The tallest spines measured 60 cm were in the middle part of the neck vertebrae.

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

The Amargasaurus pictures above might make you wonder did Amargasaurus have a sail or spines. This is where it gets confusing for most people. Paleontologists still have a debate on whether the double row of spines on the Amargasaurus was covered in a layer of sail skin or exposed bare.

However, sail-bearing animals would have reduced neck flexion if they also had to support a sail, Paul Gregory noted in 1994. Other dinosaurs with comparable humps, such as Spinosaurus and Ouranosaurus, also had substantially elongated neural spines.

But there are a few ideas that could explain why Amargasaurus is spines supported. Some think spines were used as handy tools for defense against predators or display used in courtship.

However, it seems difficult for them to defend themselves in a fight by using their spines on the back. So, the latter one might be more reasonable.

4. Amargasaurus Skeleton: Where It Was Found?

Amargosaurus is known to have the most fascinating discoveries about dinosaur history. Paleontologist Jose Bonaparte’s team found the nearly complete skeleton of a newly discovered dinosaur from the country La Amarga Formation (Argentina, South America) in 1984.

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This finding was so amazing because we find bones that had been found from their initial location, as well as dorsal vertebrae. Some bones were even still connected to each other.

However, it is unfortunate that the front part of the Amargasaurus skull is missing. Based on related sauropods, we can imagine the Amargasaurus skeleton with more complete skulls. Scientists believe that the creature was a quadrupedal herbivore with a long skull on the end of a long neck. They believe this because of the structure of the bones found.

5. Amargasaurus Habitat – When and Where It lived

What environment did Amargasaurus live in? The Amargasaurus is thought to have lived in what is now South America. Scientists know little about its habitat since they found it only in a single spot. It may have migrated through the presence and movement of other dinosaurs from the same region.

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When did Amargasaurus live? According to the natural history museum, Amargasaurus cazaui was a sauropod that lived from the Late Jurassic to the early Cretaceous (from about 132 to 127 million years ago).

6. Amargasaurus Size

Sauropods were some of the largest animals to ever walk the Earth. They are best known for their long necks, tails, and small heads. Some species could grow to be over 100 feet long and weigh over 50 tons!

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Now it’s time to find out how big Amargasaurus was! From head to tail, this huge creature measured between 9 and 12 meters in entire length and weighed a whopping 9 tonnes.

In comparison to other dicraeosaurids, the Amargasaurus size is comparatively small. But it definitely an extremely tall animal in the modern world. Compared with other sauropods, it has a long neck and tail. But Amargasaurus remained recognizable as the sauropod characteristic.

Among its distinguishable features is a pair of bone spikes arranged in the backside of the Amargasaurus. It is the smallest dinosaur with this feature.

7. Amargasaurus Diet: What did Amargasaurus eat?

Amargasaurus cazaui is a herbivorous dinosaur that lived during the Cretaceous period. Herbivores like Amargasaurus eat plants and different food sources to sustain themselves. Given the large size of the Amargasaurus, it likely ate a large amount of plants each day.

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Scientists believe that it was closely related to the Dicraeosaurs and shared many similarities with them. The Amargasaurus probably had long teeth used for scraping vegetation and leaf roots from the ground. This dinosaur was likely large and tall, capable of reaching into trees for food.

However, it’s been proposed that the Amargasaurus may have been omnivorous, eating plants as well as small animals and eggs. Fossil evidence of eggs with impact holes has been found around the famous Argentinosaurus dinosaur skeleton. These may have been made by the Amargasaurus as its food source.

8. Threats And Predators

Amargasaurus probably posed less danger as a result of the spikes on its neck. This can be used to discourage attacks simply by being fierce or protecting if Amargasaurus is threatened by predators.

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Amargasaurus also faced competition from other herbivores. In the process, there have likewise been competitions between other Amargasaurus species. Scientists say the dinosaurs also fought for their mates. Whether Amargasaurus died in a fight or triumphed in this event the injuries would be fatal.

9. Amargasaurus Speed

Amargasaurus was a herbivore that moved on four legs. The forelimbs of “Amargasaurus” were five times the length of its hind legs, a length proportion which is similar to that of herbivorous dinosaurs. Due to proportionally short hind limbs, it is believed that this sauropod was not able to stand on its hind legs.

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In 1991, Salgado and Bonaparte suggested that Amargasaurus was a slow mover due to the length of its forearms and lower legs. Therefore, it is unlikely that this sauropod was capable of galloping. For that, you might get a chance to catch up with an Amargasaurus who is on foot.

In 2008, another study suggests that this sauropod was slower than “Diplodocus”, but probably faster than “Corythosaurus”, based on the ratio of legs to total body size or length.

10. Why did the Amargasaurus go extinct?

Some scientists believe that the Amargasaurus may have been one of the last dinosaurs to go extinct during the Early Cretaceous period, around 120 – 130 million years ago. As we all know, asteroid impact was the main culprit of dinosaur extinction. This particular extinction event is thought to have caused an Ice Age, wiping out all dinosaurs.

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The Amargasaurus is known to have existed around at least the same time as another large dino, the Mapusaurus – although whether the two ever interacted has not been confirmed.

Hope you will enjoy the Amargasaurus pictures and facts above. If you want to meet this dinosaur, you don’t have to fly to South America. Why? Only Dinosaurs, an animatronic dinosaur manufacturer, will bring them back to different dinosaurs theme parks around you.

Check out more dinosaur facts for small ones at your home:

Giant Southern Lizard: Top 12 Dinosaur Facts About Giganotosaurus

Ferocious Facts About Spinosaurus You’ll be Amazed to Know

Dinosaurs or Birds? Facts About 20 Feathered Dinosaurs

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