Dicraeosaurus

Name: Dicraeosaurus ‭(‬Double forked lizard‭)‬.
Phonetic: Die-cray-oh-sore-us.
Named By: Werner Janensch‭ ‬-‭ ‬1914.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Saurischia,‭ ‬Sauropodomorpha,‭ ‬Diplodocoidea,‭ ‬Dicraeosauridae.
Species: D.‭ ‬hansemanni‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬D.sattleri.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: 12‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Tanzania.
Time period: Late Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Remains for the identification of two species.

       Dicraeosaurus was relatively small by sauropod standards,‭ ‬but was still a bit larger than Amargasaurus,‭ ‬so far the only other known member of its group.‭ ‬Dicraeosaurus sported a double row of spines down its back that‭ ‬are‭ ‬similar to those seen on the back of Amargasaurus.‭ ‬We cannot be certain what these spike were for but it‭’‬s possible that they could have been there so that Dicraeosaurus could recognise others of its own species,‭ ‬or that they were a form of defence to make it harder for tall theropods to bite down onto the back.‭ ‬It is also possible that they may have been the supports for a sail,‭ ‬so far no one can say for absolutely certain.
       Dicraeosaurus would have shared its habitat with the stegosaurid Kentrosaurus and the brachiosaurid Giraffatitan,‭ ‬fossils for which are known from the area.‭ ‬Each one of these would have fulfilled a particular niche so that they did not starve each other of food,‭ ‬and similar systems can be seen in other parts of the globe such as western North America with the presence of Brachiosaurus,‭ ‬Diplodocus and Stegosaurus all in the same ecosystem at the end of the Jurassic.

Further reading
- Übersicht über die Wirbeltierfauna der Tendaguru-Schichten [Overview of the vertebrate fauna of the Tendaguru beds]. Archiv für Biontologie 3:81-110 - Werner Janensch - 1914.



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