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AMARGATITANIS

a herbivorous dicraeosaurid sauropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Argentina.
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Pronunciation: a-MAHR-guh-tie-TAN-iss
Meaning: La Amarga Giantess
Author/s: Apesteguía (2007)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Neuquén, Argentina
Chart Position: 510

Amargatitanis macni

The La Amarga locality of Argentina's Neuquén Province boasts a diverse vertebrate assemblage that includes pterosaurs, crocodyliforms and mammals. Dinosaurs are represented too, but rather poorly it must be said, by an as yet unnamed stegosaurid and a possible rebbachisaurid sauropod, the abelisaurian theropod Ligabueino andesi, a hatful of unidentifiable theropod teeth, and the fragmentary diplodocoid Zapalasaurus bonapartei. In fact, only the dicraeosaurid sauropod Amargasaurus cazaui is anything to write home about because it's represented by three specimens, but two of those are still undescribed. However, in 2007 the dinosaurian ranks were bolstered by Amargatitanis macni; another sauropod dinosaur that Sebastián Apesteguía assigned to Titanosauria.

Apesteguía's interpretation of these fossil's affinities was significant because Amargatitanis would represent one of the oldest known titanosaurs. And it would be older still if its bonebed, listed in Fernando Bonaparte's 1983 notebook as lying in the Kimmeridgian Pichi Picún Leufú Formation, could be age-verified. As it happens, the manner of their preservation confirmed the fossils were from the younger La Amarga Formation, but not all from the same quarry. And later research by Gallina showed that Amargatitanis was a dicraeosaurid rather than a titanosaur, but not the same dicraeosaurid as Amargasaurus.
(Macn's La Amarga Giantess)Etymology
Amargatitanis is derived from La Amarga (the Formation in which it was found) and the Greek "titanis" (female giant). The species epithet, macni, honors MACN—Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales (The Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences) "for the sustained contribution and human resources formed in Vertebrate Paleontology during the 19th and 20th centuries".
Discovery
The remains of Amargatitanis were discovered in the La Amarga Formation, north of China Muerta Hill, 2.5 km SE from the bridge of National Route 40, Neuquén, Argentina, by a José F. Bonaparte-led team in 1983. When Apesteguía coined the name in 2007, he listed the holotype as MACN PV N51: six caudal (tail) vertebrae, MACN PV 34: a very broad, robust scapula (shoulder blade), and MACN PV 53: a femur (thigh), an astragalus (ankle) and the first metatarsal (a foot bone), but something was amiss. Bonaparte's original field notes showed that four different quarries were excavated between March 11th and 16th 1983, and only fossils from the "Amargatitanis" site were marked with a red "1". After some metaphorical digging in 2016, Gallina ditched the vertebrae and scapula because they lacked this distinguishing mark, but he added a previously undescribed right ischium (hip bone), a right tibia (shin), a right fibula (calf), and two tail vertebrae from the same digsite to MACN PV N53, which now forms the holotype. Unfortunately, some phalanges and another metatarsal that Bonaparte also mentioned seem to have been misplaced.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Early Cretaceous
Stage: Barremian
Age range: 130-120 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: ?
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: ?
Diet: Herbivore
References
• Apesteguía, Sebastián (2007) "The sauropod diversity of the La Amarga Formation (Barremian), Neuquén (Argentina)". Gondwana Research 12 (4): 533–546. doi:10.1016/j.gr.2007.04.007.
• Ariel Gallina, Pablo "Reappraisal of the Early Cretaceous sauropod dinosaur Amargatitanis macni (Apesteguía, 2007), from Northwestern Patagonia, Argentina". Cretaceous Research 64: 79–87. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2016.04.002.
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "AMARGATITANIS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 24th Feb 2017.
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