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Abrosaurus

Abrosaurus, meaning “delicate lizard,” is a genus of sauropods dinosaur from the Bathonian to Callovian stages of the Middle Jurassic Period of what is now Asia (168 to 161 million years ago). It is one of many dinosaurs unearthed at the Dashanpu Quarry in the Sichuan Province of China. Abrosaurus was discovered in 1984 and first described in 1986.

Abrosaurus is known from a nearly complete fossil skull that has been very well preserved. Other material has been found from the same bone beds, but has yet to be confirmed as Abrosaurus material. The fossil fragments are housed at the dinosaur museum at the Quarry near Zigong, China.

Like most sauropods, Abrosaurus was a quadrupedal herbivore. However, it was rather small for a sauropods, not much bigger than 30 feet long. Its head was boxy and topped with a tall bony arch containing the nostrils. Its generic name, meaning “delicate lizard,” refers to the nature of the skull, with large openings separated by thin bony struts.

The type (and only named) species, A. dongpoi, is named after the eleventh century Chinese poet Su Shi, also known as Su Dongpo.

Abrosaurus was originally described as a camarasaurid sauropod, and while it may not turn out to be a member of that particular family, further research has indicated that it is a primitive member of Macronaria, much like Camarasaurus itself. However, the remains of Abrosaurus have not been fully described, making its exact placement in the sauropod family tree difficult to determine.

Abrosaurus


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