Dinosaurs in general look an awful lot like dragons. Reptilian, large, scaly..etc. etc. You’d have to look pretty hard to find a dinosaur that looked more like a “dragon”–than Amargasaurus.
The Amargasaurus (“Amarga Lizard”, formally Amargasaurus cazaui) was a sauropod dinosaur of the early Cretaceous period (120Ã¢â‚¬â€œ130 million years before the present). Its fossil remains were found by paleontologist JosÃƒÂ© Bonaparte in 1991, in a canyon in La Amarga, a town in province of NeuquÃƒÂ©n, Argentina, about 70 km from Zapala.
The fossils are failry complete, with the exception of the front end of the skull and the tail.
The Amargasaurus was a herbivore which measured 10 m (33 ft) long and weighed about 5,000 kg. It was differenciated from other sauropods by two parallel rows of large “sails” that ran along its neck.
These are in fact elongated cervical vertebrae or “neural spines”. They may have been connected by a skin membrane, forming a double “sail”. These sails could have also been used as a mating display, or to intimidate predators or rivals.
Weighing in at what would have been around 5-7 tons, Amargasaurus may have seemed large, however it was only 33 feet long.
The species name cazaui is due to Dr. Luis Cazau, a geologist who worked for the state oil company YPF. In 1983 Cazau raised the interest of Bonaparte’s team in La Amarga, which turned out to be a major archaeological site.
According to Bonaparte’s research, Amargasaurus is a close relative of two late Jurassic species of genus Dicraeosaurus found in Tanzania, Eastern Africa, which lived about 10 million years before. Dicraeosaurus had forked neural spines all along its neck and back.
Amargasaurus was a member of the dicraeosauridae, sauropods closely related to Diplodocus.