Fun Atacamatitan Facts For Kids

Christian Mba
Oct 20, 2022 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Oct 07, 2021
Edited by Christina Harrison
Read these amazing Atacamatitan interesting facts.)
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.4 Min

A new Titanosaur Sauropod was discovered during an expedition set out by the Chilean National Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of Brazil heading to the Antofagasta region. They discovered the Tolar formation of the Conchi Viejo town in the Atacama Desert.

They also came across incomplete bones of a right femur, the proximal end of a humerus, two dorsal vertebrae, posterior caudal vertebrae dorsal ribs, and a fragmentary element regarded as part of the sternum, and other incomplete bones were discovered. Later, research revealed that it belonged to a new Titanosaur, the Atacamatitan.

It was named by Alexander W.A.‭ ‬Kellner,‭ ‬David Rubilar-Rogers,‭ ‬Alexander Vargas, and ‭Mario Suárez.

It lived during the upper Cretaceous period. A cast of the posterior caudal vertebra is kept in the Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro.

We've compiled a list of interesting facts about the Atacamatitan. Continue reading and don't forget to check out our other articles on the Apatosaurus and the Abrosaurus.

Atacamatitan Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Atacamatitan'?

The Atacamatitan lived in what is now known as Chile and was named by Alexander W.A.‭ ‬Kellner,‭ ‬David Rubilar-Rogers,‭ ‬Alexander Vargas, and ‭Mario Suárez ‬‭in the year 2011. It is pronounced as 'at-ah-cam-ah-tie-tan'.

What type of dinosaur was an Atacamatitan?

The Atacamatitan was a Titanosaur Sauropod dinosaur from Chile. Titanosauridae, a family of Sauropods, were spread across almost all parts of the world. Members of this clade are still among the poorly studied. All of these dinosaurs had long necks and tails.

In which geological period did the Atacamatitan roam the Earth?

This new Titanosaur Sauropod roamed the Earth from the Albian Maastrichtian stage. It lived in the Tolar formation of the upper Cretaceous age also known as the late Cretaceous age. They were the last herbivorous dinosaurs that existed before the end of the Cretaceous period.

When did the Atacamatitan become extinct?

This Chilean Sauropod lived 100.5-66 million years ago and possibly became extinct after the Cretaceous period or during the late Cretaceous age extinction. The K-Pg extinction consisted of a series of unfortunate events like forest wildfires, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions which were triggered by the collision of a meteor with Earth.

This caused extreme climatic changes resulting in the death of dinosaurs along with 80 percent of life on Earth.

Where did the Atacamatitan live?

The Atacamatitan chilensis specimen was found in the Tolar formation near Conchi Viejo town in the Atacama Desert of the Antofagasta region in Northern Chile.

What was the Atacamatitan's habitat?

The Atacama desert in Chile is one of the driest deserts in the world. However, millions of years ago they were more fertile. These dinosaurs would have occupied forest regions where the presence of tall trees was abundant.

Who did the Atacamatitan live with?

Despite being herbivores, they might have been solitary creatures that only came together for mating or in case of danger. However, they might have coexisted with other herbivorous dinosaurs.

How long did an Atacamatitan live?

The Atacamatitan chilensis, named by Rubilar-Rogers et al, was a Sauropod dinosaur that lived throughout the late Cretaceous epoch after which it became extinct.

How did they reproduce?

Reproduction of dinosaurs was quite similar to that of modern day reptiles. The male began by depositing sperm into the female. This would have resulted in the fertilization of eggs with embryos, followed by incubation and hatching. According to references, most dinosaurs were quite attentive to their offspring. Sauropods laid 15-40 eggs which weighed around 339 lb (1.54 kg).

Atacamatitan Fun Facts

What did the Atacamatitan look like?

Most of the elements in the fossil have been damaged and attained a reddish brown color as a result, so we do not know the precise appearance of the dinosaur. The Atacamatitan chilensis must have been a small sized dinosaur.

Remains suggest it had a group of hollow depressions that were round and not elongated. This feature sets it apart from all other Titanosaurs.

Well preserved vertebrae rose from the mid to posterior end of the tail. The Maxakalisaurus and The Uberabatitan were very similar to this species and only differed in the structure of the neural spine.Posterior caudal vertebrae had a compressed neural spine with a blade like margin that made this dinosaur different from the other two.

The bony arch on ventral and lateral surfaces of dorsal vertebrae was slightly curved and had a concave margin. Forelimbs were strong.

The proximal end of the femur was progressively shortened until it reached two-thirds of its length. The reduction in the distal end of the right femur and humerus was very obvious.

Remaining parts of the femur, the humerus, and the vertebra of the Atacamatitan were reconstructed.

How many bones did an Atacamatitan have?

Remains of the Atacamatitan chilensis, named by Rubilar-Rogers et al, from the Tolar formation in Chile, include incomplete bones of the right femur, the proximal end of a humerus, posterior caudal vertebrae dorsal ribs, a part of the sternal plate, two dorsal vertebrae, a fragmentary element regarded as part of the sternum, and other incomplete bones.

Only two caudal vertebrae were well kept. It is not possible to compute the precise number of bones they had.

Dinosaurs, in general, might have had as many as 200 bones, which is approximately equal to the number of bones a human has.

How did they communicate?

Dinosaurs did not use any modern day technology to connect with each other. They only relied on their voice and vision. They communicated by emitting sounds which varied depending on the nature or situation.

When in danger or while hunting they emitted high pitched growls. The rest of the time the sounds might have ranged from medium pitched hoots to low pitched coos. They probably used their fighting skills to impress their mates and other body gestures to convey messages.

How big was the Atacamatitan?

The head to tail length of the Atacamatitan dinosaur was around 3.6 ft (1.10 m). An estimation of the height has not yet been given. It was two times the length of a Scipionyx.

How fast could an Atacamatitan move?

The speed of a dinosaur is calculated based on the hip height of the specimen and step measurements. The calculated speed is not an accurate value but only an estimation.

In the case of this dinosaur, the height or the overall speed is not known due to damaged remains. However, Titanosaurus Sauropod dinosaurs, in general, walked faster than early Sauropods.

How much did an Atacamatitan weigh?

The Atacamatitan weighed between 8-16 tons (8,000-16,000 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

Generally, scientists spend half of the time naming a dinosaur. Not many fossils of a particular species are available. Sometimes only a fossil of the adult or juvenile is available. From all these elements it is hard to say if sexual dimorphism existed and if there were separate names for male and female dinosaurs.

What would you call a baby Atacamatitan?

The baby Atacamatitan can be called a chick, a nestling, or a hatchling.

What did they eat?

Titanosauridae were a group of herbivores who possessed long necks. They were high browsers who fed on leaves from treetops. Their diet also included twigs and plant materials from tall trees. Due to the length of the neck, they would not have been able to feed on plants or roots on the ground.

How aggressive were they?

The Atacamatitan chilensis was probably not aggressive. Based on its relationship with the Titanosaur it can be concluded that this dinosaur from Chile was only aggressive when attacked by predators.

They might have been hunted by other carnivorous dinosaurs that loved having a dinosaur for their meal. Precise details about predators are not available; however, the Abelisaurus was most likely one of the species that hunted the Atacamatitan.

Did you know...

The second caudal vertebra element from remains of this new Sauropod was almost complete. The material only lacked the right anterior articular process of the neural arch.

Despite the lack of fossil material, this Sauropod dinosaur is considered one of the most complete dinosaurs from Chile.

The rebuilt anterior articular process appears to be more convex from the lateral view.

The specimen was found in the Atacama desert region and is currently on display at the Chilean National Museum of Natural History.

David Rubilar-Rogers (one of the researchers by whom the specimen was found) is a Chilean paleontologist.

Based on a cladistic analysis conducted in 2012, the Atacamatitan was assigned to the Lithostrotia clade.

Why are they called Atacamatitan?

The upper Cretaceous period Atacamatitan dinosaur that lived during the upper Cretaceous period in the Atacama region of Chile was named by Alexander W.A.‭ ‬Kellner,‭ ‬David Rubilar-Rogers,‭ ‬Alexander Vargas, and ‬Mario Suárez. The name is derived from the Greek word titav which means titan.

It is given as a reference to the Atacama desert where the specimen was found. The species name Atacamatitan chilensis refers to Chile.

Who discovered the Atacamatitan?

The Atacamatitan skeleton was found in the Tolar formation in Chile by a group of Chilean and Brazilian researchers who planned an expedition, arranged by the Chilean National Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of Brazil.

The same set of researchers including Rubilar-Rogers went on an expedition for the second time, excavating the material of the holotype specimen.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other creatures from our Puertasaurus facts and Pradhania facts pages.

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

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba picture

Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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