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ARAGOSAURUS

a herbivorous camarasaurid sauropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Spain.
aragosaurus.png
Pronunciation: AHR-uh-go-SOR-us
Meaning: Aragon lizard
Author/s: Sanz, Buscalioni, et al. (1987)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Aragon, Spain
Chart Position: 262

Aragosaurus ischiaticus

The Españoles have had a rough trot trying to find unique-to-Spain dinosaurs. Oftentimes, they thought they had one then it went and got itself discovered elsewhere... first. But their hearts were gladdened when Aragosaurus — found in Aragon in 1958 but long thought to be a specimen of Camarasaurus — was confirmed as a unique critter and thus became the first exclusively Spanish dinosaur.

Aragosaurus fossils aren't brilliant but judging from the known bits it probably had a short, compact skull and a medium-long neck, wide chisel-like teeth for chomping tough conifers, a long muscular tail and an almost level body because its hindlimbs were only slightly longer than its forelimbs. It's broadly Camarasaurus-like, in fact, which is why Lapparent classified it as a camarasaurid way back in 1960, though he refrained from officially naming it at that time. Latest research pegs Aragosaurus as a non-titanosaurid macronarian, possibly forming a group called Laurasiformes, along with Lourinhasaurus and Tastavinsaurus.
Etymology
Aragosaurus is derived from "Aragon" (the region of Spain in which it was discovered) and the Greek "sauros" (lizard).
The species epithet, ischiaticus, we have to be honest, is a bit of a mystery. The closest we can find is the Greek "iskhiadikos" which roughly translates as "pain in the hip". This is almost certainly not right, but we'll bet "hip" comes into it somewhere.
Discovery
The first remains of Aragosaurus were discovered in the Las Zabacheras Beds in the lower part of the El Castellar Formation, 500 m north of Galve, Teruel province, Southern Aragon, Spain, by amateur paleontologist José María Herrero Marzo in 1958. In 2009 Royo-Torres et al. announced that these beds lay in the Villar del Arzobispo Formation, but in 2012 Canudo et al. showed this not to be the case.
The holotype (ZN-1 to ZN-19) includes caudal (tail) vertebrae, chevrons, shoulder blade, forelimb, bits of hip, a thigh bone, several fingers and a claw.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Early Cretaceous
Stage: Barremian
Age range: 130-125 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 18 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 16 tons
Diet: Herbivore
References
• Upchurch P, Barrett P.M. and Dodson P. (2004) "Sauropoda" in Weishampel, Dodson and Osmólska (eds.) "The Dinosauria: Second Edition".
• Galobart A, Suner M. and Poza B. (2011) "Dinosaurs of Eastern Iberia".
• Canudo J.I, Gasca J.M, Moreno-Azanza M and Aurell M. (2012) "New information about the stratigraphic position and age of the sauropod Aragosaurus ischiaticus from the Early Cretaceous of the Iberian Peninsula".
• Royo-Torres R, Upchurch P, Mannion P.D, Mas R, Cobos A, Gascó F, Alcalá L. and Luis Sanz J. (2014) "The anatomy, phylogenetic relationships, and stratigraphic position of the Tithonian–Berriasian Spanish sauropod dinosaur Aragosaurus ischiaticus".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "ARAGOSAURUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 24th Feb 2017.
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