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ARGYROSAURUS

a herbivorous titanosaurian sauropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Argentina.
image
Pronunciation: AR-ji-ro-SOR-us
Meaning: Silver Lizard
Author/s: Lydekker (1893)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Chubut, Argentina
Chart Position: 55

Argyrosaurus superbus

Argyrosaurus is a titanosaur—one of the mostly huge, broad-chested, Late Cretaceous sauropods—and hails from the Bajo Barreal Formation of Río Chico. Discovered way back in 1888, it's also one of the first-named Argentinean dinosaurs, ergo it's had plenty of time to get mucky and muddled.

The problem with Argyrosaurus is that it's made up of a hotch potch of scrappy fossils from six, or maybe eight, different localities strewn around Argentina's Neuquen, Chubut, Santa Cruz and Entre Ríos Provinces, but there is no real evidence to tie them to a single species.

The name proper belongs to a humongous forelimb which was apparently attached to a complete skeleton that a Museo de La Plata commission managed to smash to smithereens during excavation, but bits have been assigned to it willy-nilly since 1893 based on nothing more than similarly epic proportions, and they could just as easily belong to Titanosaurus, Laplatasaurus, Antarctosaurus or something else entirely.

A partial skeleton that had been assigned to Argyrosaurus (Powell, 1986) and to Antarctosaurus (Bonaparte and Gasparini, 1979) before that, was renamed Elaltitan lilloi by Philip Mannion and Alejandro Otero in 2012.
(Proud silver lizard) Etymology
Argyrosaurus is derived from the Greek "argyros" (silver) and "sauros" (lizard), because it was discovered in Argentina—the "silver land".
The species epithet, superbus, means "proud" in Latin.
Discovery
The only remains that can be assigned to Argyrosaurus with any certainty were discovered in the "upper member" of the Bajo Barreal Formation at Río Chico, northeast of Lake Colhué-Huapi, Chubut Province, Argentina, by Carlos Ameghino in 1888.
The holotype (MLP 77-V-29-1) is a huge left forelimb.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Cretaceous
Stage: Campanian-Maastrichtian
Age range: 84-66 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 28 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 50 tons
Diet: Herbivore
References
• Lydekker R. (1893) "Contributions to the study of the fossil vertebrates of Argentina. I. The dinosaurs of Patagonia". Anales del Museo de La Plata 2: 1-14
• Novas F.E. (2009) "The Age of Dinosaurs in South America".
• Mannion P.D. and Otero A. (2012) "A reappraisal of the Late Cretaceous Argentinean sauropod dinosaur Argyrosaurus superbus, with a description of a new titanosaur genus". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Vol. 32, Issue 3, pages 614-638. doi: 10.1080/02724634.2012.660898
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "ARGYROSAURUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 20th Nov 2017.
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