Egyptosaurus: herbivorous dinosaurs of the infraorder sauropods

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Egyptosaurus (lat.: Aegyptosaurus) a genus of herbivorous dinosaurs of the Sauropoda infraorder (Sauropoda) from the Titanosaurus group (Titanosauria). Egyptosaurus fossils have been found in the Early Upper Cretaceous of North Africa.

This genus of dinosaurs was described in 1932 by the German paleontologist Ernst Stromer von Reichenbach based on fragments of a skeleton found in Egypt on the territory of the Bahariya oasis (Bahariya formation). The only species of the genus Egyptosaurus is Aegyptosaurus baharijensis. His skeleton was kept in Munich, but was destroyed during an Allied bombing raid on April 24/25, 1944.

The length of the dinosaur’s body was presumably 16 meters with a weight of about 10 tons, which makes it possible to attribute it to medium-sized sauropods. At the same time, it is difficult to draw an exact boundary between Egyptosaurus and other genera of sauropods, since there is no corresponding bone material for new studies.

The only discovered representative of another genus of sauropods from the same formation is Paralititan (Paralititan) described in 2001, which can still be distinguished from Egyptosaurus in several ways: for example, the latter was much smaller than Paralititan, for example, its humerus (lat.: humerus) is 41% shorter than the humerus of the paralithitan. In addition, according to the observations of Ernst, the stommer von Reichenbach, the front tail vertebrae of the Egyptosaurus, unlike paralytitan, had side recesses (latch.: pleurocoele). Other differences between the two genera are found in the morphology of the scapula and humerus.

The anterior and middle tail vertebrae of Egyptosaurus appear to have been concave on the anterior side, which is a sign of more advanced titanosaurs.

The question of the position of this genus of dinosaurs within the group of titanosaurs has not been clarified. So, in 2004, the English paleontologist Paul Upchurch and his colleagues came to the conclusion that the Egyptosaurus was one of the first titanosaurs, and took it out of the Lithostrotia group in their classification, which includes more and more perfect titanosaurs.

However, in 2005, Carry Rogers included the Egyptosaurus as the oldest representative in the Saltasauridae family, along with such birth as, for example, opisthocoelicaudia, Saltazaurus, nonnavigation (Nemegtosaurus).

At the beginning of the 20th century, Ernst Stromer studied the oasis of Baharia and described the fossil remains of various ancient vertebrates. So, in addition to the fossils of the Egyptosaurus, he discovered here, for example, the bones of Teropodes, such as Spinosaurus, Carcharodontosaurus (Carcharodontosaurus) and Bahariasaurus.

The collection of the stomer, including the bones of the Egyptosaurus, was stored in the old Academy (Wilhelminum) in Munich, where the Bavarian State Museum of Paleontology and Historical Geology was located at that time, and was mostly lost during World War II during the bombing of Munich. The fragmented skeleton of the dinosaur (Holeshot No. BSP 1912 VIII 61) consisted of partially preserved blades, 9 bones of the lower extremities and 3 tail vertebrae. It is assumed that these remains belonged to the early upper period (Senoman).

The generic name Egyptosaurus (Aegyptosaurus) translated from Latin means “lizard from Egypt”. The specific epithet “baharijensis” indicates the location of the discovery of its skeleton (the Bahariya oasis). Thus, the full name of Aegyptosaurus baharijensis can be translated as “Baharian Egyptosaurus”.

In addition to the holotype specimen, Ernst Stromer von Reichenbach described several more sauropod skeletal remains, also found in the territory of the Bahariya oasis, and initially suggested that they also belong to the Egyptosaurus.

This additional find includes one undetermined vertebra (No. BSP 1912 VIII 66), two possibly caudal vertebrae (No. BSP 1912 VIII 67), and one concave caudal vertebra (No. BSP 1912 VIII 65).

However, due to the fact that after the opening of the paralytitan, 2 Bakhariah oturopods became known, it is necessary to classify these additional fossils as the bones of the osuropods of an indefinite position, since it is unknown to which they belonged from these two clans.

In 1960, paleontologist Albert-Félix de Lapparent declared that 3 more fragmentary skeletons he found in Nigeria belonged to the genus Egyptosaurus.

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