Abrosaurus was discovered in 1984 by Ouyang Hui. Hui first named his find in his 1986 thesis as A. gigantorhinus, or Abrosaurus Gigantorhinus. It's classification has gone under many changes since. The fossils that were found are extremely fragmented, and scientists are still unsure whether this is a separate genus or not. Like most sauropods, Abrosaurus was a quadrupedal herbivore but it was rather small for a sauropod, not much more than 30 feet (9 m) long. Its head was boxy and topped with a tall bony arch containing the nostrils.
The generic name meaning 'delicate lizard (from from the Greek αβρος meaning 'delicate' or 'dainty' and σαυρος meaning 'lizard')', refers to the nature of the skull, with large openings separated by thin bony struts. The only named species is now known as A. dongpoi, and is named after eleventh century Chinese poet Su Shi, also known as Su Dongpo, who was born in Sichuan.
Abrosaurus was originally described as a camarasaurid sauropod, and while it may not turn out to be a member of that particular family, further research has indicated that it is a basal member of Macronaria, much like Camarasaurus itself. However, the remains of Abrosaurus have not been fully described, making its exact placement in the sauropod family tree difficult to determine (Upchurch et al., 2004).