Amphicoelias Facts

Amphicoelias Facts
Amphicoelias belongs to the group of sauropod dinosaurs. It lived in North America 150 million years ago (during the late Jurassic). Amphicoelias probably lived in woodlands and savanna-like areas, in semi-arid and seasonally dry regions. It was discovered in 1877 in Golden Park, Colorado, and described one year later. Amphicoelias was one of the biggest and maybe even the largest dinosaur that ever lived on our planet. However, due to lack of fossil evidences, this fact cannot be proven scientifically.
Interesting Amphicoelias Facts:
Amphicoelias was able to reach around 200 feet in length and up to 125 tons of weight.
Modern paleontologists believe that huge size of Amphicoelias was aimed to improve efficiency of digestion. Amphicoelias had very long digestive system, designed to store food prolonged period of time and ensure survival on a plant-based diet with low energy content.
The most prominent features of Amphicoelias were extremely long neck and very long tail.
Amphicoelias had relatively thin, but heavy body because of its huge proportions.
Name "Amphicoelias" means "double hollow biconcave" while second part of its name: "fragillimus", means "very fragile". Name refers to the shape and delicateness of vertebrae of this dinosaur.
Amphicoelias walked using all four of its legs (quadrupedal animal).
Amphicoelias was a herbivore. Its diet was based on plants such as ferns.
Amphicoelias had very long, slender teeth, shaped like cylindrical rods. Teeth were oriented forward, toward the front part of the mouth.
Amphicoelias was probably active during the night. Researchers believe that it rested during the day in the shade of tall trees to prevent overheating.
Amphicoelias didn't have natural enemies thanks to its huge size, which was also responsible for a very long lifespan of this dinosaur.
First described species of Amphicoelias, Amphicoelias altus, was slightly smaller than its "famous" cousin: Amphicoelias fragillimus. It was 80 feet long and had 50 tons of weight.
Amphicoelias altus was described based on the hip bone and upper leg bone. Some paleontologists believe that Amphicoelias altus is actually a species of Diplodocus due to great similarity between the bones of these two types of dinosaurs.
Size of Amphicoelias fragillimus was reconstructed from a single fossil evidence, huge, but partial vertebra, that was 5 feet wide and 9 feet long.
Unfortunately, this single piece of evidence disappeared shortly after description of Amphicoelias due to lack of care of paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope, who discovered this species during a period known as "Bone Wars".
Term "Bone Wars" refers to a period of extreme competition between two famous paleontologists: Cope and Marsh at the beginning of the 20th century. They both wanted to discover as many as possible new dinosaur species and they've used all kind of "weapons" (bribery, accusation of stealing, politics...) to eliminate each other from a "battle".


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