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Ampelosaurus

genus of reptiles (fossil)
Skull of Ampelosaurus atacis

Ampelosaurus (/ˌæmpɪlˈsɔːrəs/ AM-pi-loh-SOR-əs; meaning "vine lizard") is a titanosaurian sauropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous Period of what is now Europe. Its type species is A. atacis. A possible unnamed species has given Ampelosaurus an age reaching to the latest Cretaceous, from about 70 to 66 million years ago.

DescriptionEdit

 
Life restoration, osteoderm covering is hypothetical

Like most sauropods, Ampelosaurus would have had a long neck and tail, but it also carried armor in the form of osteoderms 25 to 28 centimetres (9.8 to 11.0 in) long. This dinosaur would have stretched up to about 15 metres (49 ft) from snout to tail. According to Gregory S. Paul, it was about 16 meters long and weight around 8000 kg.[1] Ampelosaurus atacis is known from many unattached bones and teeth. It is one of the best-known dinosaurs from France.[2][3]

SkeletonEdit

Ampelosaurus is one of the most completely known titanosaurian sauropods from Europe. Since 1989, over 500 bones discovered at France have been assigned to A. atacis. An abundant amount of well-preserved elements have been uncovered at Bellevue. In the original description, only a tooth and some vertebrae were examined. In 2005, a complete description was made by Le Loueff.[4]

Ampelosaurus sp.Edit

 
Referred braincase and CT scans

A fossil braincase from Lo Hueco was tentatively assigned to an unnamed species of Ampelosaurus, A. sp., in a 2013] article in the journal PLoS ONE. The braincase was found to share many features with A. atacis, such as a back of the skull that is flat. The braincase, MCCM-HUE-8741, is small in size overall, with a length of 100.8 millimetres (3.97 in), and the maximum width of the left half being 64.3 millimetres (2.53 in). Parts of the bottom half of the braincase are missing. Even though section are missing, the specimen does not appear to have been deformed much, as the left and right halves are not very different.[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Paul, G.S., 2010 The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs, Princeton University Press p. 207
  2. Le Loeuff, J. (1995). "Ampelosaurus atacis (nov. gen., nov. sp.), un nouveau Titanosauridae (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) du Crétacé supérieur de la Haute Vallée de l'Aude (France)". Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences. IIa 321: 693–699. http://paleoglot.net/files/LeLoeuff_95.pdf. 
  3. Salgado, L. & Coria, R.A. (2005). "Sauropods of Patagonia: systematic update and notes on global sauropod evolution". In: Tidwell, Virginia; Carpenter, Kenneth (2005). Carpenter, K. & Tidwell, V. (eds.). Thunder-Lizards: The Sauropodomorph Dinosaurs. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. pp. 430–453. ISBN 978-0-253-34542-4.CS1 maint: uses editors parameter (link)
  4. Le Loeuff, J. (2005). "Osteology of Ampelosaurus atacis (Titanosauria) from Southern France": In: Tidwell, Virginia; Carpenter, Kenneth (2005). Tidwell, V. & Carpenter, K. (eds.). Thunder-Lizards: The Sauropodomorph Dinosaurs. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. pp. 115–137. ISBN 978-0-253-34542-4.CS1 maint: uses editors parameter (link)
  5. Knoll, F.; Ridgely, R. C.; Ortega, F.; Sanz, J. L.; Witmer, L. M. (2013). Butler, Richard J. ed. "Neurocranial Osteology and Neuroanatomy of a Late Cretaceous Titanosaurian Sauropod from Spain (Ampelosaurus sp.)". PLoS ONE 8 (1): e54991. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0054991. PMC 3552955. PMID 23355905.