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ARENYSAURUS

a herbivorous lambeosaurine hadrosaurid dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Spain.
arenysaurus ardevoli
Pronunciation: a-rhen-ee-SOR-us
Meaning: Aren lizard
Author/s: Pereda-Suberbiola (2009)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Aragón, Spain
Chart Position: 529

Arenysaurus ardevoli

As the 20th century grew to a close Spain's record of exclusively Spanish fossil dinosaurs was a bit embarrassing. It's not like they were short of remains. It's just that most of them either lay unprepared or were undiagnostic, and the ones that bucked these trends turned out to be synonymous with other dinosaurs that had been discovered elsewhere first. However, things began to look up in the earliest part of the 21st century, and since then Spain has become something of a hotspot for European dinosaurs, some of which were real headline-makers.

Arenyasaurus, for example, owns the first articulated lambeosaurine hadrosaurid skull known from Europe, albeit a partial one. Although occupying a somewhat basal position in Lambeosaurinae it's Late Maastrichtian age makes it the last member of this family known from Europe too and — as a giant asteroid was just a stones-throw away from striking Earth and sparking a catastrophic chain of events that would wipe out all non-bird dinosaurs worldwide — the chances of finding a later-living one are slim.

In 2015, Arenyasaurus became the first European hadrosaurid to have its endocast and inner ear CT-scanned and reconstructed in 3D. The structure of the inner ear can dictate the movement of the eyes and head while the brain cavity can yield information to tie its owner to a particular subfamily. But such scans can also reveal age and stage of development, and a puzzling combination of both fully grown and sub-adult features suggest Arenyasaurus may have been a dwarf.
(Ardevol's Aren lizard)Etymology
Arenysaurus is derived from "Aren" (known as "Areny de Noguera" in Catalan; a village in Huesca Province, Spain, close to where its fossils were found) and the Greek "sauros" (lizard).
The species epithet, ardevoli, honors geologist Lluis Ardèvol who discovered the Blasi sites.
Discovery
The remains of Arenysaurus were discovered at the "Blasi 3" site in the lower part of the Tremp Formation, Arén, South-central Pyrenees Mountains, Huesca Province, Aragón, Spain. The holotype (MPZ 2008/1) is a partial skull comprising the skull roof and braincase.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Cretaceous
Stage: Maastrichtian
Age range: 71-66 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 6 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 1000 Kg
Diet: Herbivore
References
• Pereda-Suberbiola X, Canudo J.I, Cruzado-Caballero P, Barco J.L, Lopez-Martínez N, Omse O and Ruiz-Omenaca J.I. (2009) "The last hadrosaurid dinosaurs of Europe: A new lambeosaurine from the Upper Cretaceous of Aren (Huesca, Spain)".
• Cruzado-Caballero P.L, Canudo J.I, Moreno-Azanza M. and Ruiz-Omeñaca J.I. (2013) "New material and phylogenetic position of Arenysaurus ardevoli, a lambeosaurine dinosaur from the late Maastrichtian of Arén (northern Spain)".
• Paul G.S. (2010) "The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs". (Page 307).
• Angel Galobart A, Suner M. and Poza B. (2011) "Dinosaurs of Eastern Iberia".
• Cruzado-Caballero P, Fortuny J, Llacer S. and Canudo J.I. (2015) "Paleoneuroanatomy of the European lambeosaurine dinosaur Arenysaurus ardevoli".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "ARENYSAURUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 29th Mar 2017.
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