Dinosaurs: Strange sauropods sported sails on top of their long necks

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Amargasaurus was an unusual long-necked sauropod dinosaur with pairs of 60-centimetre-tall spines on its neck bones – and we now know they supported neck sails



Life



8 April 2022

Amargasaurus

A reconstruction of Amargasaurus complete with neck sail

Zoonar/Michael Rosskothen/Zoonar GmbH/Alamy

Sauropod dinosaurs gravitated towards a shared body shape: a massive, barrel-like torso with a long, tapered tail and neck extending from either end. But new research indicates that at least some sauropod species also sported tall sails along the back of their necks.

Fossil remains of several so-called “dicraeosaurid” sauropods described over the past century revealed that these animals had strange neck vertebrae, equipped with long, two-pronged spines that extended upwards. It has been suggested that the puzzling structures acted as supports for a thick hump of tissue, a …



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