Agustinia

Name: Agustinia ‭(‬Named after Agustin Martinelli,‭ ‬the discoverer‭).
Phonetic: A-gus-tin-e-ah.
Named By: Josť Bonaparte‭ ‬-‭ ‬1999.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Saurischia,‭ ‬Sauropodomorpha,‭ ‬Diplodocoidea/Titanosauridae‭?
Species: A.‭ ‬ligabuei‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: Estimated‭ ‬15‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Argentina,‭ ‬Neuquen Province‭ ‬-‭ ‬Lohan Cura Formation.
Time period: Aptian to Albian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial remains including a fibula and tibia‭ (‬bones of the lower hind leg‭)‬,‭ ‬very fragmentary femur‭ (‬upper hind leg bone‭)‬,‭ ‬five metatarsals,‭ ‬partial vertebrae and the associated back armour of plates and spikes.

       Like with many sauropod dinosaurs,‭ ‬Agustinia‭ ‬is known from incomplete remains.‭ ‬Some of these remains however revealed a startling revelation in that this sauropod had what appeared to be armour along its back similar in appearance to the plates of Stegosaurus,‭ ‬a herbivorous but completely different kind of dinosaur.‭ ‬This is in particular reference to the plates that would have been on the back of the neck of Agustinia,‭ ‬although these plates were at a right angle to‭ ‬how they would have been‭ ‬arranged‭ ‬in Stegosaurus which means that from the side they would have looked thin,‭ ‬but from the front you would have seen the full shape.‭ However, later studies now suggest that this plates are actually fragments of the ribs and hips, and if this is true, then Agustinia did not have armoured plates.
       The phylogenetic position of Agustinia has been difficult to establish as the few bones known for the genus display a combination of diplodocid and titanosaurid features.‭ ‬To make things even more difficult both of these groups of dinosaurs are known to have roamed South America during the Cretaceous.‭ ‬Agustinia was first named in‭ ‬1998‭ ‬as Augustia,‭ ‬but this was later found to have already been used for another creature,‭ ‬hence the change to Agustinia in‭ ‬1999.

Further reading
- An armoured sauropod from the Aptian of northern Patagonia, Argentina. - J. F. Bonaparte. In Proceedings of the Second Gondwanan Dinosaur Symposium Tokyo: National Science Museum Monographs Y. Tomida, T. H. Rich & P. Vickers-Rich (Eds). - 1999.
- Osteology of the Late Jurassic Portuguese sauropod dinosaur Lusotitan atalaiensis (Macronaria) and the evolutionary history of basal titanosauriforms. - Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 168, 98–206. - P. D. Manion, P. Upchurch, R. N. Barnes & O. Mateus - 2013.



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