Ampelosaurus

Name: Ampelosaurus ‭(‬Vine lizard‭)‬.
Phonetic: Am-pe-lo-sore-us.
Named By: Jean Le Loeuff‭ ‬-‭ ‬1995.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Saurischia,‭ ‬Sauropoda,‭ ‬Sauropodomorpha,‭ ‬Sauropoda,‭ ‬Titanosauria.
Species: A.‭ ‬atacis‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Herbivore.
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.




       Along with Magyarosaurus,‭ ‬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 lizard‭’‬.‭
       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.

Further reading
- 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.





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