Named By: Jean Le Loeuff - 1995.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Saurischia, Sauropoda, Sauropodomorpha, Sauropoda, Titanosauria.
Species: A. atacis (type).
Size: Estimated around 15 meters long.
Known locations: France - Marnes Rouges Inférieures Formation.
Time period: Late Campanian/Early Maastrichtian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Several specimens revealing most of the post cranial skeleton, though the skull is still only known from partial remains.
Ampelosaurus is currently one of the best known
sauropods from Europe and is in fact another example of a Late
Cretaceous era titanosaur. Remains of Ampelosaurus
have been found in
what would have been a floodplain in the late Cretaceous. However
when the fossils were discovered they were now near a vineyard (a
place where grapes are grown for the purpose of making wine) which
inspired the name Ampelosaurus which means ‘vine
Despite the fact that the skull of Ampelosaurus is still only known from partial remains, there is still enough of this dinosaur, particularly the post cranial skeleton, to reconstruct Ampelosaurus with confidence. The neck of Ampelosaurus is quite short in proportion to the body, something which could indicate a specialisation in low to medium height vegetation. Like with many other titanosaurs, Ampelosaurus also had bony armour called osteoderms (alternatively scutes) which were bony plates that grew within the skin.
Another titanosaur sauropod that lived in France at the end of the Cretaceous period is Hypselosaurus.
- Ampelosaurus atacis (nov. gen., nov. sp.), un nouveau Titanosauridae (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) du Crétacé supérieur de la Haute Vallée de l'Aude (France)" (PDF). Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences. IIa. 321: 693–699. - J. Le Loeuff - 1995.
- Ampelosaurus atacis, the dinosaur of the wineyard. - The Dinosaur Society UK Quarterly. 1 (4): 1–2. - L. Le Loeuff & E. Buffetaut - 1996.
- Osteology of Ampelosaurus atacis (Titanosauria) from Southern France. - J. Le Loeuff - 2005.
- Modified Laminar Bone in Ampelosaurus atacis and Other Titanosaurs (Sauropoda): Implications for Life History and Physiology. - PLoS ONE. 7 (5): e36907. - N. Klein, P. M. Sander, K. Stein, J. Le Loeuff, J. L. Carballido & E. Buffetaut (Andrew A. Farke (ed.)) - 2010.
- Neurocranial Osteology and Neuroanatomy of a Late Cretaceous Titanosaurian Sauropod from Spain (Ampelosaurus sp.). - F. Knoll, R. C. Ridgely, F. Ortega, J. Sanz & L. M. Witmer - 2013.