Ligabuesaurus (Ligabue’s lizard)
Giovanni Ligabue, José F. Bonaparte, Bernardo J. González Riga & Sebastián Apesteguía - 2006
Estimated 15 meters long
L. leanzai (type)
Argentina, Neuquén province - Lohan Cura Formation, La Amarga Formation
Early Cretaceous, 121-99 million years ago
Ligabuesaurus is a genus of sauropod dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous period, about 85 million years ago. Its name honors the Italian palaeontologist Giovanni Ligabue. The fossils of Ligabuesaurus were discovered in the La Amarga Formation in Argentina in 2000. The type and only species is Ligabuesaurus leanzai. The fossils consist of a partial skeleton, including the skull, teeth, vertebrae, ribs, limb bones, and some osteoderms (bony plates embedded in the skin).
Ligabuesaurus is estimated to have been about 15 meters (49 feet) long and to have weighed around 7 tons. It is classified as a titanosaur, a group of herbivorous sauropods that were very successful during the Late Cretaceous. Like other titanosaurs, Ligabuesaurus had a long neck and a small head relative to its body. Its teeth were small and pencil-shaped, indicating that it fed on soft vegetation.