1. Education
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.




Atlasaurus (Nobu Tamura)


Atlasaurus (Greek for "Atlas lizard"); pronounced AT-la-SORE-us


Woodlands of Africa

Historical Period:

Middle Jurassic (165 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 50 feet long and 10-15 tons



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large size; relatively long legs


About Atlasaurus:

Atlasaurus is only indirectly named after Atlas, the Titan of Greek myth who propped up the heavens on his back: this sauropod was discovered in Morocco's Atlas Mountains, which were themselves named after the same legendary figure. The unusually long legs of Atlasaurus--longer than any other known genus of sauropod--point to its unmistakable kinship with the North American and Eurasian Brachiosaurus, of which it seems to have been a southern offshoot. Unusually for a sauropod, Atlasaurus is represented by a single, near-complete fossil specimen, including a good portion of the skull.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.