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AMYGDALODON

a herbivorous eusauropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of Argentina.
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Pronunciation: am-ig-DAL-o-don
Meaning: Almond tooth
Author/s: Cabrera (1947)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Chubut, Argentina
Chart Position: 146

Amygdalodon patagonicus

Until 1936 sauropod fossils from Argentina were completely unknown then, prompted by Piatnitzky's brief mention of "bones of a saurian of no less than 5-7m long", Dr. Tomás Suero took a trip to Chubut to check out deposits overlying the Liassic of the Pampa de Agnia and discovered the remains of a Jurassic sauropod dinosaur around twice the size of Piatnitzky's estimation.

The area yielded the remains from two or possibly three individuals of the same species, including vertebrae, ribs, partial pelvis, something thought to resemble a shoulder-blade which probably isn't and, most importantly, a handful of almond shaped teeth for which Amygdalodon was named. However, just like Vulcanodon, this dinosaur's name-prompting teeth no longer belong to this dinosaur. Well, most of them don't.

When Oliver Rahaut revisited Amygdalodon in 2003 six of the original seven chompers had mysteriously vanished so, in a stroke of brilliance, he ensured this dinosaurs validity by assigning a distinct dorsal vertebrae as lectotype and nullified any chance of another dodgy, single tooth-based taxon. Funnily enough, though, Carballido and Pol found all but one of the missing teeth in 2010 for a redescription and photo-shoot, and with their oval-ish shape and wrinkled enamel they really do look like almonds.

Valid as it may be, not a lot is known of Amygdalodon. Much-mooted estimates of fifteen meters in length, four meters in height, and 24 tons in weight are probably way too high, but for sure Amygdalodon is the first Middle Jurassic sauropod to be discovered in Argentina, the earliest known eusauropod (true sauropod) from the whole of South America, and one of only a few dinosaurs of any kind that are currently known from this time and place.
Etymology
Amygdalodon is derived from the Greek "amygdalos" (almond) and "dont" (tooth), in reference to its (suprise!) almond shaped teeth.
The species epithet, patagonicus, refers to the area of its discovery, Patagonia.
Discovery
The remains of Amygdalodon were discovered on the eastern slope of Sierra Pampa de Agnía in the Cerro Carnerero Formation, Chubut Province, Pategonia, Argentina, by Tomás Suero. The Holotype (MLP 46-VIII-21-1) consists of some vertebrae, ribs, four complete and three partial teeth, and a partial pelvis and shoulder-blade.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Middle Jurassic
Stage: Toarcian-Aalenian
Age range: 180-172 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 12 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 7 tons
Diet: Herbivore
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Sauropodomorpha
Sauropoda
Eusauropoda
Amygdalodon
patagonicus
References
• Angel Cabrera (1947) "A new sauropod from the Jurassic of Pategonia". Notas del Museo La Plata, 12: 1-17.
• O.W.M. Rauhut (2003) "Revision of Amygdalodon patagonicus Cabrera, 1947".
• José Luis Carballido and Diego Pol (2010) "The dentition of Amygdalodon patagonicus (Dinosauria: Sauropoda) and the dental evolution in basal sauropods".
• Fernando E. Novas (2009) "The Age of Dinosaurs in South America". /uk.
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "AMYGDALODON :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 25th Apr 2017.
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