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    • Abstract:
      Weighing 3–5 tons (6,600–11,000 lbs), Amargasaurus is considerably smaller than some of its better-known sauropod cousins, such as Apatosaurus and Brachiosaurus. Amargasaurus, however, has an important distinguishing feature that has baffled scientists since its discovery. Amargasaurus has peculiar elongated spines that protrude from the animal's vertebrae, which are up to 50 centimeters (21 inches) long in the neck region. The purpose of these high, pointed spines continues to fuel debate among paleontologists. Some argue that the spines may have formed a sail-like structure used for temperature regulation, defense, or mating displays. Others believe that the spines were covered in flesh, creating a hump-like structure similar to that seen in bison and buffalo today.