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Atlasaurus

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atlasaurus

Atlasaurus (Eduardo Camarga)

Name:

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

Habitat:

Woodlands of Africa

Historical Period:

Middle Jurassic (165 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 50 feet long and 10-15 tons

Diet:

Plants

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.
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