Camarasauridae

A common genus of giant quadrupedal sauropod, herbivorous dinosaurs, Camarasauridae remains have been discovered in the late Morrison Formation of Colorado, Wyoming and Utah and date to 145-155 million years of age (late Oxfordian to Tithonian stages).

In addition to the common nature of their discovery within the Upper Morrison Formation, fossilized remains of the Camarasauridae are often exceedingly well-preserved. While the maximum size of the most common species (C. lentus, first described by Marsh in 1877) was about 15 meters in length, the largest species (C. supremus, also first described by Marsh in 1877) reached lengths of up to 23 meters (75 feet), with weights of up to approximately 51.8 tons.

Unlike the rather gracile skull of the diplodocids, the arched skull of the Camarasauridae was rather square with a blunt snout, numerous fenestrae and many large, robust spatulous teeth ranging up to 7.5 inches in length.

Many of the vertebrae were pneumatic, hollowed out by a series of air sacs connected to the lungs which served as a weight-conserving measure (hence the names “kamara” (Greek for chambered) and “ sauros” (Greek for lizard)).

Four species are recognized, as follows: C. supremus (type species-1877); C. grandis (type species-1877); C. lentus (type species-1889); and C. lewisi (type species-1988).

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