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Atlasaurus Bone

Atlasaurus Bone

Above: Front of the Specimen Card 

Discovered high in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco in 1999, Atlasaurus was a specialized sauropod genus from the mid-Jurassic. Estimated at about 50 ft (15m) long and weighing 15 tons, this sauropod had extremely long limbs paired with a relatively short neck. This high-shouldered profile is typically thought to be an adaptation for elevated foraging.


Above: Slabs of Polished Atlasaurus Bone.


This specimen is a polished "slab" of Atlasaurus bone. Each specimen is priced and sold individually. All specimens will come with a small information card that also serves as a certificate of authenticity. In addition, the specimen will include an acrylic stand.

Please Note: As pictured, colors, texture, shape, definition vary widely on this specimen. Thickness varies as well but each slab is roughly 0.5" thick. Use the individual pictures as a guide.

Above: A 5.5" Atlasaurus Slab and Acrylic Stand.

More About Atlasaurus

 

"The description of new genera and new species of dinosaurs discovered recently in North Africa completely changed the vision we had."

~ Philippe Taquet, Paleontologist and former President of the French Academy of Sciences, "The Dinosaurs of Maghreb: the History of their Discovery"

 


Above: Artist's concept of Atlasaurus (Source: Mini Museum)

Discovered high in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco in 1999, Atlasaurus was a specialized sauropod genus from the mid-Jurassic. Estimated at about 50ft (15m) long and weighing 15 tons.

During the mid-Jurassic Period, the region was a wet floodplain. Bone sites and trackways in the sand/siltstone here reflect a significant diversity in saurischians comprising several sauropods and at least three types of theropods. Globally, the rapid development of sauropod species during this time saw their large body sizes double in less than 40,000,000 years.

The position of Atlasaurus on the sauropod family tree hasn't been completely settled: Some have considered it a eusauropod, while others count it among the more primitive macronarians, one of the two main branches of the advanced sauropod (Neosauropoda) clade, along with diplidocoids. An earlier line of thinking pegged Atlasaurus as a close relative of the bigger, better-known Brachiosaurus, but more recent classifications place the genus among a hodgepodge group of basal titanosaurs, the macronarian line that, in the Cretaceous, produced the largest known sauropods also known as the somphospondyls.

Atlasaurus had an unusually short-necked, high-shouldered profile that represents a variation on sauropod adaptations for elevated foraging. The species claims the proportionately longest limbs of any sauropod known, likely compensating for the comparatively modest neck length to allow for mid to high-level treetop browsing. Atlasaurus's skull is also quite large and robust relative to its size.

Above: Sauropod toothrows for comparison a) Camarasaurus b) Giraffatitan c) Diplodocid d) Juvenile diplodocid (Source: "Using dental enamel wrinkling to define sauropod tooth morphotype..." Holwerda, Femke M., Diego Pol, and Oliver WM Rauhut. PLoS One 10.2 (2015): e0118100.PLoS One 10.2 (2015): e0118100.

As Mark Hellett and Matthew J. Wedel explain in The Sauropod Dinosaurs: Life in the Age of Giants, Atlasaurus and other basal macronarians had midsize, spoon-shaped teeth. That "generalized cropping dentition," they note, in addition to these sauropods' long forelegs and heavy shoulders, might suggest "a medium-high specialization toward a finer, possibly more nutritious foliage that allowed for comparatively more selectivity per bite."

Further Reading

Allain, Ronan, et al. "A basal sauropod dinosaur from the Early Jurassic of Morocco." Comptes Rendus Palevol 3.3 (2004): 199-208.

Mannion, P. D. "Review and analysis of African sauropodomorph dinosaur diversity." Palaeontologia africana 44 (2009): 108-111.

Mudroch, Alexander, et al. "Didactyl tracks of paravian theropods (Maniraptora) from the Middle Jurassic of Africa." PLoS One 6.2 (2011): e14642.

Taquet, Philippe. "The dinosaurs of Maghreb: the history of their discovery." Historical Biology 22.1-3 (2010): 88-99.

Above: Back of the Specimen Card

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