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The Ampelosaur is a Titanosaur and a Sauropod that existed during the late Campanian period as well as early Maastrichtian stages in the late Cretaceous period. It went extinct 70-66 million years ago around what is now France. The Ampelosaurus dinosaur had a long neck and four thick legs. It was a slow walker and a herbivore, feeding on vegetation. One of the peculiar features of the Ampelosaurus was its osteoderms, armor-like plates it had on the back down to where the tail began. These bone-like osteoderms came in handy when the Ampelosaurus dinosaur had to protect itself from possible predators such as the Pyroraptoror, abelisaurids, and the mighty Tarascosaurus. The Ampelosaurus dinosaur ate over a ton of vegetation in a single day, which was digested with the help of its large gut that had gastroliths. A study has shown that these Late Cretaceous era Ampelosaurus dinosaurs were not very intelligent, since their brain was the size of a tennis ball and their bodies were huge.
Ampelosaurus is pronounced as 'Am-pe-lo-sore-us'.
The Ampelosaurus (Ampelosaurus atacis) is a Sauropod and a Titanosaur.
The Ampelosaurus (Ampelosaurus atacis) roamed the Earth during the late Cretaceous period. Within the late Cretaceous period, it lived during the late Campanian and the early Maastrichtian ages.
The Ampelosaurus dinosaur went extinct about 70-66 million years ago.
The Ampelosaurus dinosaur has been found in Europe in France.
The Ampelosaurus dinosaur was discovered close to the Campagne-sur-Aude commune of France, in the Aude département. Recovered remains were from the Marnes Rouges Inférieures formation's lower levels. This formation represents the Maastrichtian stage of the late Cretaceous period. The Ampelosaurus was first described by French paleontologist Jean Le Loeuff.
The name Ampelosaurus translates to 'vineyard lizard' or 'vine lizard' which is a reference to the Blanquette de Limoux vineyard in France. This vineyard is to the south of the site where the Ampelosaurus was discovered.
Another specimen of the Ampelosaurus dinosaur genus and species was found in 2007 near the construction site of a rail track joining Valencia and Madrid in the Villalba de la Sierra formation. The local name of this site is 'Lo Hueco' and it is located close to the Fuentes village in Spain's Castile-La Mancha.
These late Cretaceous era Ampelosaurus titanosaurs are thought to have lived near terrestrial habitats close to coasts and on islands.
Sediments of the Marnes Rouges Inférieures formation in France where the Ampelosaurus was found represents an area with an ancient floodplain that had many river channels.
The social hierarchy among Ampelosaurus dinosaurs is not properly known, but these 'vine lizards' lived at the same time as many other animals. Close to 8,000 specimens of bivalves, gastropods, other Sauropods, crocodiles, invertebrates, and plants were recovered from the Villalba de la Sierra formation, the Marnes Rouge Inférieures formation, the Gres de Saint-Chinian formation, and the Gres de Labarre Formation of the early Maastrichtian-late Campanian age.
Since the late Cretaceous era-Ampelosaurus was a Sauropod that moved slowly, it may have lived up to 100 years or even more.
These Ampelosaurus dinosaurs reproduced by mating and egg-laying.
The Ampelosaurus size was big since it was a Sauropod. It had a long neck and walked around on four slow and thick legs.
It also belonged to the group of Titanosaurs, which were among the largest dinosaurs to ever walk the Earth. Another closely related dinosaur, the Saltasaurus, was found in South America. The Ampelosaurus titanosaur had a small head and a very long tail. The tail came in handy for defense against other fearsome dinosaurs like the Tarascosaurus and the Pyroraptoror, and possibly against rival conspecifics. One of the unique Ampelosaurus features was the armor-like plates or osteoderms that ran down its back. These plates ended where the tail began. These osteoderms may have been for more protection against predators with strong jaws like Abelisaurids that shared a similar habitat. These osteoderms were 9.8-11 in (25-28 cm) in length. There were four osteoderms and they seemed to have different morphologies, which included bulb, spine-shaped, and plate. The Ampelosaurus is thought to be a dwarf Sauropod since it was smaller in size compared to its ancestors. The Ampelosaurus atacis is known for several unattached teeth and bone fixtures in its skeleton.
The exact number of bones that the Ampelosaurus had is not known, but 500 distinct bone samples have been assigned to the Ampelosaurus atacis species.
The Ampelosaurus probably communicated through visual and vocal signals. Cracking sounds, hoots, mating, and territorial displays can be assumed to have been used by Ampelosaurus 'vine lizard' dinosaurs.
The Ampelosaurus was 49.2-52.5 ft (15-16 m) long which makes it twice as long as the Appalachiosaurus.
Exact speeds of the titanosaurian Ampelosaurus are not known, but being a quadrupedal, large dinosaur, it was probably very slow.
The Ampelosaurus weight was around 10-16.5 tons (9,072-15,000 kg).
Females and males of the Ampelosaurus genus and species did not have specific names. Suffixes 'saura' and 'saurus' could be applied to females and males respectively.
A baby Ampelosaurus would be called a nestling or a hatchling.
These titanosaurian Ampelosaurus dinosaurs had a herbivorous diet and probably ate plant material like leaves, twigs, and bark throughout their life.
The Ampelosaurus had to eat more than a ton of vegetation in a single day. This vegetation would be digested with the help of gastroliths within its large gut.
Possible predators of the Ampelosaurus include the Pyroraptoror, the Tarascosaurus, and Abelisaurids.
Being large herbivorous sauropods, these Ampelosaurus dinosaurs were probably not as aggressive as carnivorous dinosaurs.
A peculiar fact about the Ampelosaurus is that a different species about four times smaller than the Ampelosaurus was discovered in beds of bones on European islands. This was probably caused by island dwarfism when a species gets locked on an island and eventually grows smaller due to limited food and water. Similar things have happened to dinosaurs like the Tarascosaurus, the Iguanodon, the Pyroraptor, and the Troodon. The Pyroraptor and the Tarascosaurus are known to have indulged in an Ampelosaurus hunt from time to time.
A new study shows that Sauropods were rather unintelligent when the Ampelosaurus skeleton skull was CAT-scanned by scientists. They found that the brain was no bigger than a tennis ball, so when the size of the body and brain are compared, the Ampelosaurods and, by extension, related sauropods, were not intelligent animals.
The specific name 'atacis' of the Ampelosaurus atacis species is based on 'atax', a Latin word meaning 'Aude river'.
The Ampelosaurus is one of the most studied and well-known genera of dinosaurs.
The Nigersaurus is believed to be a dinosaur that had 500 teeth.
The Ampelosaurus genus and species of dinosaurs has a lengthy classification. The clades Dinosauria, Saurischia, Sauropodomorpha, Macronaria, Sauropoda, Titanosauria, Lirainosaurinae, and Lithostrotia are all included as a part of the classification.
The neck of the Ampelosaurus was long so that it could reach vegetation that was high, or maneuver its own neck to reach different trees.
Some sources also believe that the neck was actually short considering its large body. This means the Ampelosaurus may have specialized in vegetation that was at low to medium height.
One of the unique things about the Ampelosarus is its name itself, which means 'the vineyard lizard' or 'vine lizard' since it was found close to a vineyard in France.
The Ampelosaurus genus belongs to the Saurischia group of dinosaurs. These late Cretaceous period dinosaurs are lizard-hipped animals that had pelvic bones shaped similar to those of lizards.
The Ampelosaurus dinosaur was a Sauropod, a group of quadrupedal and large herbivores, and one of their common features was a long neck.
The Ampelosaurus roamed what is now Europe during the late Cretaceous period.
One of the unique Ampelosaurus dinosaur facts is that it had armor-like plates or osteoderms that ran down its back to where its tail began.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other dinosaurs from our Homalocephale interesting facts and Metriorhynchus fun facts for kids pages.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable family of four dinosaurs coloring pages.
Second image by Jens Lallensack.
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