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The Lusotitan atalaiensis was a sauropod dinosaur whose fossil was found in Portugal. It lived in the Late Jurassic period around 152 million years ago. It lived in the Tithonian stage of the Late Jurassic period. It belonged to the Sauropoda clade, Brachiosauridae family, and Lusotitan genus. Initially, the dinosaur was classified as a Brachiosaurus, but as of 2003, a separate genus was created called Lusotitan. It was a herbivorous quadruped dinosaur that was one of the largest of its time and location. The fossils found consisted of 28 vertebrae and limb bones but were missing a skull. It was named by Antunes and Mateus in 2003 and discovered by Manuel de Matos in 1947. It lived in herds, was oviparous, and reproduced by laying eggs. The Lusotitan dinosaur diet consists of fruits, vegetables, and plants.
Lusotitan was named by Antunes and Mateus in 2003. The generic name is pronounced as 'Lu-so-tie-tan'.
The Lusotitan genus was a brachiosaurid sauropod dinosaur. It belonged to the Sauropoda clade, Brachiosauridae family, and Lusotitan genus. Initially, the dinosaur was classified as a Brachiosaurus, but as of 2003, a separate genus was created called Lusotitan.
Lusotitan dinosaurs lived during the Tithonian stage of the Late Jurassic period around 152 million years ago. The Late Jurassic period is also called the Upper Jurassic period.
The exact time period of extinction of the Lusotitan dinosaur genus is unknown. It is known that it did not undergo extinction during the Jurassic-Cretaceous period.
The Lusotitan fossils were found in Lourinhã Formation, Portugal. The site name was Atalaia and the species name is named after it. Only one specimen has been found in Portugal, so it's considered endemic to the land.
The Lusotitan lived in coastal regions with strong marine influence. The Lourinhã Formation, where the fossils were found, probably formed during the Tithonian stage in the Late Jurassic period.
Lusotitans lived in herds with conspecifics. Their herds have a mix of adults and juveniles. Since they are large in size they can often be part of community herds where they offer protection to smaller defenseless dinosaurs.
The exact lifespan or age of a Lusotitan is not known. Very little information is available regarding their lifespan or life cycle. It is assumed that they have three life stages; juvenile, sub-adult, and adult, in which distinct changes occur in their physical characteristics and size.
Details on the reproduction of Lusotitan dinosaurs are not known. They are assumed to have had a particular breeding season and like other dinosaurs and laid eggs like modern-day birds. The eggs were laid by the female and the juveniles hatched from the eggs after the incubation period.
This brachiosaurid is an herbivorous quadruped with short, stout limbs, a long neck, and a stiff tail. It had longer forelimbs compared to other quadrupeds. Although no skull has been found, if this dinosaur follows the usual Brachiosaurid pattern it will have nostrils that open high and spoon-shaped teeth. Its skull, if found, would provide more information.
The number of bones of a Lusotitan is not known. The fossils discovered in the Lourinhã Formation of Portugal had 28 vertebrae. The number of bones cannot be estimated as the fossil is a partial skeleton.
Like other dinosaurs, it can be assumed that the Lusotitan dinosaur communicated using their bodies and vocalization. Dinosaurs can create distinct open-mouthed sounds and closed-mouthed sounds. The close-mouthed sounds of a lower frequency could travel long distances, which helped them communicate with the rest of the herd or warn rivals of their territory.
The Lusotitan atalaiensis, originally known as Brachiosaurus atalaiensis, was a large dinosaur; one of the largest of its period and location. The Lusotitan height was 36 ft (11 m) tall, its length was 82-90 ft (25-27 m) long.
The Lusotitan was a large and heavy dinosaur endemic to Portugal. They walked in heavy and slow steps and probably never ran. They were not particularly threatened or preyed on by other carnivorous dinosaurs given their size.
The Lusotitan was a heavy brachiosaurid dinosaur that weighed 30 tons (30,000 kg).
The males and females of this Lusotitan (previously Brachiosaurus) species do not have any sex-specific names. Since only one partial skeleton without a skull has been found, it is unknown whether this species exhibited sexual dimorphism or not. Sexual dimorphism helps in distinguishing the sexes visually.
The baby Lusotitan doesn't have any particular names. The young of a dinosaur are generally referred to as babies or juveniles.
The large Late Jurassic brachiosaurid Lusotitan atalaiensis species (previously Brachiosaurus atalaiensis) was a herbivore whose diet usually consisted of leaves, fruits, and plants.
They were not a particularly aggressive species of sauropod because they didn't need to be considering their size. They weren't under threat of any kind from other carnivorous dinosaurs. They would probably use their size for their defense against any sort of attack.
When the fossil was found in the Lourinhã Formation of Portugal (1957) it was classified as a Brachiosaurid sauropod and its name was Brachiosaurus atalaiensis. Later considering its fossils, it was placed in a separate genus and the name of the type species is Lusotitan atalaiensis. The skull was not found among the fossils and hence information about the partial skeleton and its classification is insufficient.
The generic name Lusotitan is derived from 'Luso' which means inhabitant of Lusitania (Portugal in Latin) and 'titan' which refers to a mythological giant in Greek. The specific name 'atalaiensis' refers to the site of the discovery of fossils in Portugal called Atalaia. The separate genus and type species is Lusotitan that was named by Antunes and Mateus in 2003.
Only one specimen of Lusotitan has been found in Portugal. The remains consisted of 28 vertebrae and some fragments of limb bones. It was found in the Lourinhã Formation from the Late Jurassic period. The skull was missing from the 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 Elasmosaurus facts and Ohmdenosaurus facts for kids.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Lusotitan coloring pages.
Main image by Alamotitan.
Second image by Charles Nye.
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