Jaime Powell made the first description of this specimen back in 1986. The generic name comes from the Greek “Aeolo”, which means wind and “Saurus”, which means lizard.
Aeolosaurus is a sauropod from Titanosauridae family. Judging by the size of the findings, this specimen may have reached 12 meters long, weighting around 16 tons and it could have lifted its head up to 6 meters high.
Aeolosaurus, as all sauropods, had a long neck, a small head, a long tail and walked in four legs. The reproduction was through spherical eggs with a diameter of 17 centimeters. The shell was 5-millimeter thick.
The vertebral anatomy of the tail is procoelus, a feature shared by all the Titanosauridae family, where the front of the centrum is concave and the rear, convex.
Aeolosaurus presents two exclusive characteristics: neural arches located very near the front part of the vertebrae on the anterior side of the centrum in middle and posterior caudal
vertebrae and the neural spine leaning forward in the middle and posterior caudal vertebrae.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SPECIES
Within sauropods, Titanosauridae family registers the largest dinosaurs in the world. The species morphologically most related to Aeolosaurus are Titanosaurus, found in India and Argentina and Gondwanatitan, found in Brazil. Such is the resemblance between Gondwanatitan and Aeolosaurus that some researchers question whether they are different species or not.
The place known nowadays as San Patricio del Chañar, was home to several discoveriesrelated to Aeolosaurus, such as turtle shells and vegetal remains. However, at the same time but 100 km to southwest, Aeolosaurus was related to armoured dinosaurs such us Ankylosaurus, duck-billed dinosaurs such as Hadrosaurus and remains of Theropods and cretaceous birds.
75 millions years ago, the landscape presented a plain level with mountains to the northeast, called “Sierra Pintada”, where the erosion formed small hills and a volcanic arch appearing from west. In the coast, the tides reached up to 4 metres of altitude, covering large areas. As a consequence, the flora was restricted to continental environments that had developed on the north-eastern coast of this bay.
Aeolosaurus, from the Greek “Wind Lizard”. Rionegrinus in reference to the province of Río Negro, where the first specimen was found.
75 million years (Campanian – Maastrichtian). Late Cretaceous.
Coastal plain of shallow seas.
10 to 12 metres.
Casa de Piedra, Salitral Moreno and Los Alamitos in Río Negro province. Monte Altoand Uberaba in Brazil. San Patricio del Chañar in Neuquén.
Herbivore. All types of leaves.