Temporal range: late Cretaceous
Aegyptosaurus, meaning "Egypt's Lizard" after the country where it was discovered (comes from the Greek word sauros, which means 'lizard'), is a genus of sauropod dinosaur that lived in Africa around 95 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous period. Like most sauropods, it had a long neck and a small skull. The animal's long tail probably acted as a counterweight to its body mass. Its tail also ended in a whip-like structure that it used to defend itself against predatory dinosaurs that lived in the same place and time as it, such as Carcharodontosaurus and Spinosaurus. Aegyptosaurus was a close relative of Argentinosaurus, a much larger dinosaur that lived in South America at about the same time. This suggests a possible land bridge between Africa and South America during the Cretaceous period.
Aegyptosaurus was discovered and named by a German paleontologist named Ernst Stromer in 1932. Its fossils have been found in Egypt, Niger, and in several different locations in the Sahara Desert. All known specimens were discovered before 1939. The fossils were stored together in Munich, but were obliterated when an Allied bombing raid destroyed the museum where they were kept in 1944, during World War II. The type species is Aegyptosaurus baharijensis, named after the Bahariya Formation in Egypt, where the first fossils were found.
Aegyptosaurus was much smaller and more common than its contemporary, Paralititan. Predators probably hunted the smaller Aegyptosaurus more often than the huge Paralititan.