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- Plant eater
- Spoon-shaped teeth
- Walked on four thick legs
- Long tail to counterbalance long neck
- Small head and blunt snout
Camarasaurus was a long-necked, long-tailed giant herbivore, measuring about 24 to 65 feet (7.5 to 20 m) long 15 feet (4.6 m) tall at the hips, and weighing up to 20 tons (roughly 28000 kg). It was much smaller than its fellow sauropods. It had a small, long head with a blunt snout and spoon-shaped teeth. Its neck and tail were shorter than most other sauropods. It had thick legs with five-toed feet; the inner toe had a long, sharp claw for protection. The front legs were only a bit shorter than its back legs, making its back almost level to the ground. Its name, "chambered lizard," comes from the holes in its vertebrae that decrease its weight.
WHEN CAMARASAURUS LIVED
Camarasaurus lived during the late Jurassic Period, about 155 to 145 million years ago. The late Jurassic was the time of the enormous sauropods, including Diplodocus, Apatosaurus, and Brachiosaurus. Also present were Stegosaurus, Tuojiangosaurus, Allosaurus, Supersaurus, Coelurosaur, and many others.
Camarasaurus fossils have been found in groups with both adult and young together. This suggests that Camarasaurus travelled in herds and may have cared for their young. Camarasaurus may have hatched from eggs, like other sauropods. Sauropod eggs have been found in a linear pattern and not in nests; presumably the eggs were laid as the animal was walking. It is thought that sauropods did not take care of their eggs. Sauropods life spans may have been in the order of 100 years.
DIET AND TEETH
Camarasaurus was an herbivore (it ate only plants). It must have eaten a tremendous amount of plant material each day to sustain itself. It swallowed leaves whole, without chewing them, and may have swallowed gastroliths (gizzard stones) to help digest tough plant fibers, like fern leaves and conifers . It had long, thick, spoon-shaped teeth.
It used to be thought that the sauropods (like Camarasaurus, Brachiosaurus and Apatosaurus) and Stegosaurus had a second brain. Paleontologists now think that what they thought was a second brain was just an enlargement in the spinal cord in the hip area. This enlargement was larger than the animal's tiny brain.
Camarasaurus was a sauropod, whose intelligence (as measured by its relative brain to body weight, or EQ) was the among the lowest of the dinosaurs.
Camarasaurus probably moved slowly on four massive legs (as determined from fossilized tracks and its leg length and estimated mass).
Many Camarasaurus fossils have been found in North America (in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming). Camarasaurus was named in 1877 by Edward Drinker Cope.
Camarasaurus was a saurischian dinosaur, a sauropodomorpha, and one of the smallest of the sauropoda (long-necked, long-tailed plant-eaters). It belongs to the Family Camarasauridae, boxy-headed sauropods, which includes Camarasaurus, Euhelopus, Opistocoelicaudia, etc.
The type species is C. supremus. Other species of Camarasaurus include: C. grandis, C. lentus, and C. lewisi.
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