Researching the Spikes of This Dinosaur
A team in the Carlos Ameghino Provincial Museum, Argentina, led by Dr. Ignacio Cerda researched the spines of this dinosaur and similar species. Their goal was to find features that would tell if the protrusions indicated a sail, horns, or perhaps a bison-like hump. They discovered ligaments between the spines, which would indicate that the sail hypothesis is the most likely one.
What Scientists Speculate
Dr. Cerda told IFLScience that they looked into previous hypotheses regarding the soft tissues in relation to the spines found on the Amargasaurus and another sauropod whose species is unknown but that had very similar features. Being the first to lead a deep anatomical and historical study to test these hypotheses, they found it important to look for contracting evidence.
What Did These Sails Look Like
Based on currently available data, it’s not completely clear what these sails actually look like. Scientists postulate that the ligaments and soft tissues found between the successive spines created a cervical sail. Knowing exactly what these dinosaurs looked like is certainly puzzling, but researchers are working on creating plausible depictions based on the available evidence.
The functional significance of the cervical sail of the Amargasaurus Cazaui is not yet determined, but it could have been used for display in the process of attracting a mate, warding off predators, and competing with other members of the same dinosaur species. Paleontologists are certainly on the job, working hard to find out more and provide a clearer picture of this mysterious creature.