Aeolosaurus

Name: Aeolosaurus ‭(‬Aeolus lizard‭)‬.
Phonetic: Ay-oh-lo-sore-us.
Named By: Powell‭ ‬-‭ ‬1987.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Saurischia,‭ ‬Sauropoda,‭ ‬Titanosauria,‭ ‬Aeolosauridae,‭ ‬Aeolosaurini.
Species: A.‭ ‬rionegrinus‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬A.‭ ‬colhuehuapensis,‭ ‬A.‭ ‬maximus.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: Estimated at‭ ‬14‭ ‬meters long,‭ ‬quite possibly larger.
Known locations: Argentina and‭ ‬Brazil.
Time period: Campanian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Several individuals,‭ ‬but of partial remains.

       Aeolosaurus is one of the better known South American titanosaurs of the late Cretaceous period.‭ ‬The name is derived from the mythical figure of Aeolus who was dubbed the‭ ‘‬keeper of the winds‭’ ‬in Homer’s Odyssey.‭ ‬It might seem rather obscure to name a dinosaur after this figure,‭ ‬but it is actually in reference to the prevailing winds that blow across Patagonia where the first specimen of Aeolosaurus was found.
       Aeolosaurus has a close relationship with the titanosaur Gondwanatitan which stems from the fact that Gondwanatitan was named from a species of Aeolosaurus,‭ ‬A.‭ ‬faustoi.‭ ‬Both of these titanosaurs have caudal‭ (‬tail‭) ‬vertebrae that are both elongated and have neural spines that angled anteriorly‭ (‬towards the front of the animal when the vertebrae are horizontally level‭)‬.‭ ‬These special vertebrae have been proposed to have formed to better support Aeolosaurus when it reared up on its hind legs granting this dinosaur an optionally bipedal stance when feeding.‭ ‬Such a stance would have allowed Aeolosaurus to reach higher into the tree canopy and feed upon parts that were beyond the reach of other dinosaurs without physically having to grow a longer neck for the purpose.
       Some remains of Aeolosaurus have confirmed the presence of osteoderms‭ (‬sometimes called scutes‭) ‬which were bony lumps that grew in the skin.‭ ‬These have been seen in some other titanosaurs and are thought to have been for additional defence against predatory theropods‭ ‬which in the case of Aeolosaurus may have included abelisaurs like Abelisaurus and Carnotaurus.‭

Further reading
- The Late Cretaceous fauna of Los Alamitos, Patagonia, Argentina part VI—the titanosaurids. - Revista del Museo Argentina de Ciencias Naturales "Bernardino Rivadavia" e Instituto Nacional de Investigacion de las Ciencias Naturales: Paleontología 3(3):147-153 - J. E. Powell - 1987.
- El genero Aeolosaurus (Sauropoda, Titanosauridae) en la formación Allen (Campaniano-Maastrichtiano) de la Provincia de Río Negro, Argentina. - Ameghiniana 30(2): 119-128 - L. Salgado & R. A. Coria - 1993.
- Presence of the genus Aeolosaurus (Sauropoda, Titanosauridae) in the Los Alamitos Formation (Late Cretaceous) of the Río Negro Province. Revista Guarulhos. - Geociencias 2(6): 44-49. - L. Salgado, R. A. Coria & J. O. Calvo - 1997.
- Aeolosaurus colhuehuapensis sp. nov. (Sauropoda, Titanosauria) de la Formacion Bajo Barreal, Cretacico superior de Argentina." Revista Brasileira de Paleontologia, 10(1): 53-62 - G. Casal, R. D. Martinez, M. Luna, J. C. Sciutto & M. C. Lamanna - 2007.
- A new sauropod (Macronaria, Titanosauria) from the Adamantina Formation, Bauru Group, Upper Cretaceous of Brazil and the phylogenetic relationships of Aeolosaurini. Zootaxa 3085:1-33 - R. M. Santucci & A. C. D. Arruda-Campos - 2011.





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