May. 31st, 2014

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Magyarosaurus dacus is a sauropod from a heavily-forested island that is now part of modern-day Romania. As we see today in many island animals, the restricted size of the terrain led to a reduced size in its inhabitants, including these pygmy sauropods, no taller than today's horses and weighing a mere one ton. Magyarosaurus, like its close relatives around the world at the time, had an armor-plated back. Underneath its skin were osteoderms - large bony scutes that formed in rows. In addition to being armor, these osteoderms could be dissolved from the inside and made hollow, the calcium forming them recycled to become eggshells during the breeding season.

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Lauren Helton

September 2014

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