Welcome to our AEGYPTOSAURUS entry...
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Categories: SauropodaHerbivoreEgyptBaharijaLate Cretaceous


Pronunciation: ee-JIP-toe-SOR-us
Meaning: Egyptian lizard
Author: Stromer (1932)
Synonyms: None known
First discovery: Marsah Matruh, Egypt
Roar factor: 3/10

Aegyptosaurus baharijensis

Aegyptosaurus is a titanosaur and is named after its place of discovery - Egypt. We know there is no "A" in Egypt and the customery Greek term from which its name derives (Aigyptos) doesn't even have an "E". Heck, as far as we know the Egyptian alphabet is lacking written vowels altogether, but this Late Cretaceous sauropod is no stranger to mystery and the odd extra letter is the least of its worries.

Some vertebrae and limb bones that would become Aegyptosaurus were found at Bahariya Oasis way back in 1939 and it isn't unreasonable to assume that paleontologists have spent many a year studiously pondering and compiling info on said remains to share with the public. They haven't. But, to be fair, there was a slight hitch.

Ernst Stromer von Reichenbach, who will be known as "the Baron" from here on (to save my single typing finger!) took his discoveries back to Germany for study when... POW! The Munich museum in which they were stored was obliterated by a WW2 allied forces bombing raid and all known fossils, as well as those of Spinosaurus and Carcharodontosaurus, went up in smoke. With new remains a little shy of presenting themselves we had to rely on the Baron's 60 year old notes to garner what little info we have and that, we're afraid, is all we have.

We know Aegyptosaurus was a titanosaur and we also know that Titan means giant but Aegyptosaurus wasn't. At around sixteen meters long and a fairly modest fourteen tons in weight, you don't have to go far to find a bigger one. Paralititan, its later discovered Egyptian relative was a good 35 tons heavier and almost twice a long, and the size difference wasn't just down to things being prone to shrinkage when they get old!

With so many weird and wonderful stories attached to Aegyptosaurus and its discoverer (including this... which was an April Fools joke, but well-written non-the-less) geologists from Pennsylvania felt compelled to travel back to Bahariya in 1999 and were so commited to tracing the Baron's steps that they painstakingly matched descriptions from his notes to actual landmarks as they went along.

Remarkably they managed to pinpoint some of his quarries and discovered a hotch potch of remnants belonging to turtles, crocodiles, gastropods, possibly Spinosaurus aegyptiacus and maybe, just maybe, Aegyptosaurus. This was eleven years ago this year (2010) and we still haven't seen hide nor hair of new info. No news is often good news but, we have a sneaking suspicion, not on this occasion.
Aegyptosaurus is derived from the Greek "Aigyptos" (Egypt) and "sauros" (lizard).
The species epithet - baharijensis, refers to the Bahariya formation. (see below). "Ensis" is a latin suffix which means "from".
Stromer's Egypt Lizard was discovered at the Baharija Formation at Marsa Matruh, 524km northwest of Egypt's capital - Cairo, in 1932.
The Holotype (1912VIII61) consisted of three caudal (tail) vertebrae, a partial shoulder blade, and some limb bones.
Era: Mesozoic
Period: Late Cretaceous
Timespan: 99-94 million years ago
Age: Cenomanian
Vital Stats:
Est. Max. Length: 16 meters
Est. Max. Height: ?
Est. Max. Weight: 14 tons
Diet: Herbivorous
Family Tree:
• Stromer, E. (1932a) Ergebnisse der Forschungsreisen Prof. E. Stromers in den Wüsten Ägyptens. II. Wirbeltierreste der Baharîje-Stufe (unterstes Cenoman). 11. Sauropoda. Abhandlungen der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften Mathematisch-naturwissenschaftliche Abteilung, Neue Folge, 10: 1-21.
• A. F. d. Lapparent (1960) "Les Dinosauriens du "Continental intercalaire" du Saharal central [The dinosaurs of the "Continental Intercalaire" of the central Sahara]".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, Lee (DinoChecker) "AEGYPTOSAURUS: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
http://www.dinochecker.com/dinosaurs/AEGYPTOSAURUS›. Web access: 28th Nov 2014.