Amargasaurus is agenus of sauropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous epoch(129.4–122.46 mya) of what is now Argentina. The only known skeleton was discovered in 1984 and is virtually complete, including a fragmentary skull, making Amargasaurus one of the best-known sauropods of its epoch.Amargasaurus was first described in 1991 and contains a single species, Amargasaurus cazaui. The animal was small for a sauropod, reaching 9 to 10 meters (30 to 33 feet) in length. Most distinctively, it sported two parallel rows of tall spines down its neck and back, taller than in any other known sauropod. It is unclear how these spines appeared in life—they could have supported skin sails or stuck out of the body as solitary structures supporting a keratinous sheath. They might have been used for display, combat, or defense.

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Fact file

  • Pronounced: A-MARG-oh-sore-us
  • Meaning of name: Amarga lizard
  • Length: 12m
  • Weight: 9000kg
  • Teeth: teeth for grinding and chewing
  • Diet: herbivorous
  • Food: tough plants
  • When it lived: Early Cretaceous
    (132 – 127 million years ago)
  • Found in: Argentina

Taxonomic details

  • Taxonomy: Dinosauria, Saurischia, Sauropodomorpha, Sauropoda, Eusauropoda, Neosauropoda, Diplodocoidea, Dicraeosauridae, Amargasaurus
  • Named by: Salgado and Bonaparte (1991)
  • Type species: cazaui