Named By: Leonardo Salgado, Ismar de Souza Carvalho & Alberto C. Garrido - 2006.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Saurischia, Sauropodomorpha, Sauropoda, Diplodocoidea, Rebbachisauridae.
Species: Z. bonapartei (type).
Known locations: Argentina, Neuquen Province - La Amarga Formation.
Time period: Barremian/Early Aptian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Holotype based upon partial post cranial skeleton including ilia, ischium, pubis, 17 caudal vertebrae of the anterior portion of the tail and fragments of the femur and tibia. Remains of a second individual are known.
is another example of an early cretaceous era diplodocoid sauropod, a
find significant in itself since many diplodocid genera are dated to
the Late Jurassic. Further to its inclusion within the
Diplodocoidea, Zapalasaurus has been included as
a member of the
Rebbachisauridae, a sub group of the Diplodocoidea that includes
other Cretaceous era genera. As with other genera of this group,
Zapalasaurus is assumed to have had a long neck
developed as a feeding
adaptation which allowed it to sweep its head across a wide arc in
front of the body. This would allow a feeding Zapalasaurus
upon a wide gathering of plants without expending energy walking to
reach one plant after another.
Zapalasaurus was named after the city of Zapala which is located about eighty kilometres north of the digsite where the holotype individual was found. The species name is in honour to the palaeontologist Jose Fernando Bonaparte. Another diplodocid sauropod known from the La Amarga Formation is Amargasaurus.
- Zapalasaurus bonapartei, un nuevo saurópodo de La Formacion La Amarga (Cretacico Inferior), noroeste de Patagonia, Provincia de Neuquen, Argentina [Zapalasaurus bonapartei, a new sauropod from the La Amarga Formation (Lower Cretaceous), northwestern Patagonia, Neuquen province, Argentina], Leonardo Salgado, Ismar de Souza Carvalho & Alberto C. Garrido - 2006.