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Alamosaurus

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Alamosaurus
Temporal range: Late Cretaceous (70-65 Mya)
800px-AlamosaurusDB.jpg
A restoration of Alamosaurus sanjuanensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Sauropodomorpha
Family: Saltasauridae
Subfamily: Opisthocoelicaudiinae
Genus: Alamosaurus
Gilmore, 1922
Type species
Alamosaurus sanjuanensis
Gilmore, 1922

Alamosaurus (/ˌæləmɵˈsɔrəs/; meaning "Ojo Alamo lizard") is a genus of titanosaurian sauropod dinosaurs, containing a single known species, Alamosaurus sanjuanensis, from the late Cretaceous Period of what is now southern North America. Isolated vertebrae and limb bones indicate that it reached sizes comparable to Argentinosaurus and Puertasaurus, which would make it the second largest dinosaur known from North America behind Amphicoelias. Its fossils have been recovered from a variety of rock formations spanning the Maastrichtian age of the late Cretaceous period. Specimens of a juvenile Alamosaurus sanjuanensis have been recovered from only a few meters below the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary in Texas, making it among the last surviving non-avian dinosaur species.

Alamosaurus was a gigantic quadrupedal herbivore with a long neck and tail and relatively long limbs. Its body was at least partly covered in bony armor. Though most of the complete remains come from juvenile or small adult specimens, one fragmentary specimen suggests that adult Alamosaurus could have grown to enormous sizes comparable to the largest known dinosaurs like Argentinosaurus, which has been estimated to weigh 73 tonnes (72 long tons; 80 short tons).

Though no skull has ever been found, rod-shaped teeth have been found with Alamosaurus skeletons and probably belonged to this dinosaur. The vertebrae from the middle part of its tail had elongated centra.[4] Alamosaurus had vertebral lateral fossae that resembled shallow depressions. Fossae that similarly resemble shallow depressions are known from Saltasaurus, Malawisaurus, Aeolosaurus, and Gondwanatitan. Venenosaurus also had depression-like fossae, but its "depressions" penetrated deeper into the vertebrae, were divided into two chambers, and extend farther into the vertebral columns. Alamosaurus had more robust radii than Venenosaurus.

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