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17 Roar-some Amargasaurus Facts That Kids Will Love

Read these Amargasaurus facts to know about sauropods with bony spines parallel rows on neck vertebrae.

The Amargasaurus, also known as the La Amarga Lizard, was a medium-sized dinosaur and a genus of sauropod. They were sauropod dinosaurs from the Early Cretaceous age, and they existed somewhere between 129.4-122.46 million years ago. These sauropod dinosaur fossils were recovered from the site of the La Amarga Formation in Argentina. The name Amargasaurus was given by Leonardo Salgado and Jose Fernando Bonaparte in 1991. The type species of these sauropod dinosaurs is Amargasaurus cazaui.

These dinosaurs were large in size, but within the category of sauropods, these dinosaurs were small or medium-sized. The Amargasaurus size and other characteristics are sometimes compared to the Dicraeosauridae or Dicraeosaurus.

The most distinguishing features of these dinosaurs were their two parallel rows of spines and a sail on their neck vertebrae and back. It is believed that these dinosaurs had spines and skin sails for display and to protect them from predators. They are categorized as herbivores on the basis of their food habits. The diet may have consisted of plants such as fern seeds, cycads, and club mosses. The Amargasaurus might have been a migratory dinosaur traveling in a small group or herd. 

If you enjoy reading this article about dinosaurs, then do read some interesting and surprising fun facts about other dinosaurs, such as the Panphagia and the Analong.

Amargasaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Amargasaurus'?

The pronunciation of the name of these famous La Amarga lizards, Amargasaurus of South America, is very easy. The word is pronounced 'ah-mar-gah-sore-us'. You just need to break down the words into chunks of syllables. 

What type of dinosaur was an Amargasaurus?

The Amargasaurus is a small, distinctive, sauropod dinosaur and is scientifically named Amargasaurus cazaui. Though these sauropod dinosaurs are large in size, they are categorized as small in the sauropod category. The Amargasaurus is named after the site, La Amarga Formation in Argentina, where their fossils were discovered. The sauropod dinosaur was described by Leonardo Salgado and Jose Fernando Bonaparte in 1991. The long neck and back of these sauropods with spines on the neck and back vertebrae are were for protection from predators. They clade within Dinosauria, Sauropodomorpha, and Sauropoda. They belong to the family of Dicraeosauridae and the genus Amargasaurus.

In which geological period did the Amargasaurus roam the earth?

The Amargasaurus cazaui roamed around the earth during the Early Cretaceous period, from the Barremian and Late Aptian stages.

When did the Amargasaurus become extinct?

The Amargasaurus, a sauropod dinosaur, became extinct around 129.4-122.46 million years ago, by the end of the Barremian and Late Aptian stages of the Early Cretaceous period.

Where did the Amargasaurus live?

The Amargasaurus cazaui fossil was discovered on the site of the La Amarga Formation in Argentina, South America. The Sauropod dinosaurs had a great evolutionary history in the context of the increase and decrease of their neck length and size.

What was the Amargasaurus' habitat?

The Amargasaurus habitat was the dry woodlands of South America. These dinosaurs are believed to be migratory, so their habitat would also have varied. The weather was usually hot. The spines along the back of their necks may have played a significant role in regulating the heat on the back of their neck vertebrae.

Who did the Amargasaurus live with?

The Amargasaurus was believed to be migratory and has gone through a great evolutionary history. They would have migrated in search of food, forming a large group of juveniles and adults. The exact number of animals in a herd or group is unknown to the world.

How long did an Amargasaurus live?

The Amargasaurus lived during the Early Cretaceous period between the Barremian and Late Aptian stages 129.4 million years ago-122.46 million years ago. Most of the sauropods are believed to live for around 100 years.

How did they reproduce?

The La Amarga lizard, Amargasaurus, was oviparous and reproduced by mating and hatching eggs. The Amargasaurus, like other sauropods, laid eggs in clutches and took care of their hatchlings. The female Amargasaurus may have been more involved in parental care of the hatchlings until they grew into young juveniles. The spines on the necks and back vertebrae may have been used by the male to display their dominance and lure the female for mating.

Amargasaurus Fun Facts

What did Amargasaurus look like?

The Amargasaurus cazaui had the most unusual or distinctive feature of spines on their neck and back vertebrae, as seen from fossil remains. They had color variations from green to black, brown, and white. Most sauropods were believed to have long necks, tails, and legs like elephants. However, these sauropods were a complete exception. They had a small head, a long neck with a long tail. For this reason, they are also called the La Amarga lizard of Argentina. Later, many sauropods evolved with spines and scutes.

The bony spines near the neck were skin-like sails parallel to each other. These parallel double-row skin spines were related to regulating temperature and luring the females for mating. They were also used to protect themselves from predators who might have eaten sauropod hatchlings. These Amargasaurus were quadrupeds with short forelegs in comparison to their back legs. The feet had five toes and claws, and a long tail that might have been used for their protection. The fossils recovered were almost complete with fragments of skulls. The teeth of these sauropods were blunt as they only ate plants. These teeth helped them to chew food.

The Amargasaurus skeleton was recovered from the sedimentary rocks of La Amarga Formation, Argentina, South America.

How many bones did an Amargasaurus have? 

The exact number of bones in a Amargasaurus skeleton is unknown to the world, and only 22 articulated vertebrae of the vertebral column of the neck, tail, and back have been found. The skull was found in fragments.

How did they communicate?

The Amargasaurus is thought to communicate using visual cues using the neck which was covered with spines. This visual display was used to search for the right mating partner. Apart from this, many dinosaurs have been known to communicate using vocals and using tactile cues.

How big was the Amargasaurus?

The site from which these sauropod dinosaur fossils were recovered is well known for large dinosaurs species. However, Amargasaurus, though huge in size, is still considered among the small or medium-sized dinosaurs. The Amargasaurus was 30-33 ft (9-10 m) in length from head to tail, and 9 ft (2.7 m) tall. It weighed 3-4 tons (2,722-3,629 kg).

How fast could an Amargasaurus move?

The evidence suggests a speed of 31.3 mph (50 kph). The Amargasaurus ran at the same speed as a rhinoceros. They had thick legs and feet like elephants and were quadrupedal. 

How much did an Amargasaurus weigh?

The Amargasaurus weighed around 3-4 tons (2,722-3,629 kg). The Amargasaurus sauropod species had a long tail and neck with a small head and claw feet, and thick legs. 

What were the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the male and female species and they are known by their generic names.

What would you call a baby Amargasaurus?

The babies of Amargasaurus are called hatchlings and when they grow a little they are called juveniles.

What did they eat?

The Amargasaurus was herbivorous and was believed to eat food from different plants, such as ferns, gingkos, cycads, and club mosses. The teeth of these sauropods were blunt, which helped them to chew their plant-based diet more efficiently.

How aggressive were they?

Exact information regarding them being aggressive is unknown, but these species are believed to have bony spines in two rows on the neck and back vertebrae, which were significant for protection from predators.

Did you know...

Stegosaurus and Amargasaurus, two herbivorous dinosaurs with spines and scutes on their backs, are believed to share the same habitat and diet. The diet of these dinosaurs was small plants such as horsetails, and fern seeds.

The Amargasaurus skeleton was recovered from the sedimentary rocks of La Amarga Formation, Argentina, South America, but only a fragmented skull was found among the fossil remains.

According to Jose Fernando Bonaparte, the Amargasaurus was believed to have stones called gastroliths in its stomach to help chew the hard parts of the plants in its diet.

Museum websites can be visited to learn more about dinosaurs, such as those of the UK Natural History Museum website, and the Western Australian Museum. The Melbourne Museum has named a duplicate of this dinosaur species as Margie. The Museum of Paleontology, Egidio Feruglio, is also known to describe these sauropod dinosaur species.

Why are they called Amargasaurus?

The Amargasaurus was named after the site of the La Amarga Formation of Argentina in South America. They are also called La Amarga lizards. 

Did Amargasaurus have a sail or spines?

Yes, the Amargasaurus had a sail and spines on their neck vertebrae for their protection and these played a significant role in their courtship and temperature control.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur-related facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other creatures from our article Isanosaurus facts and Abrosaurus facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Amargasaurus coloring pages.

 

Both images by Nobu Tamura.

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