ARGYROSAURUS (ar-GUY-roh-SORE-us)

Period: Late Cretaceous

Order, Suborder, Family: Saurischia, Sauropodomorpha, Titanosauridae

Location: South America (Argentina)

Length: 65-70 feet (20-21 meters)

In 1893, British paleontologist Richard Lydekker published the first description of sauropod dinosaurs from South America that had been unearthed in Patagonia, Argentina. Lydekker named two new South American species of Titanosaurus, and a new titanosaurid, Argyrosaurus superbus or "superb Argentine lizard." All that was found were the bones of a left front limb more than nine feet long, and a few bones that may belong to the same animal. Argyrosaurus was a large titanosaurid. If it had the same proportions as other titanosaurids, it would have been 65 to 70 feet long. It would have been as long as Apatosaurus but with a bulkier body, shorter neck, and much shorter tail.

The titanosaurids of South America are being restudied by paleontologist Jaime Powell. His results have not been published, but he has found that the front limbs of Argyrosaurus were different from those of India's Titanosaurus and Argentina's Saltasaurus and Laplatasaurus.

Even if it needs to be placed in another family, its lifestyle was much like that of its better-known sauropod relatives. It wandered in herds across South America, using its long neck to reach high into the treetops for leaves and branches. Argyrosaurus probably spent most of its waking hours searching for food.