Saltasaurus

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Saltasaurus (Salt-ah-sore-us), Lizard from Salta, lived in the Late Cretaceous of South America. Saltasaurus was the first armored sauropod discovered. It was a medium size sauropod that lived in the first half of the Maastrichtian with Carnotaurus.


Content List

1. Genera & species

2. Characteristics

a. Size

b. Behavior

3. History of Discovery

4. Paleoenvironment

5. References


Genera and Species

Classification: Sauropoda, Macronaraia, Titianosauria, Saltasauridae

Species: S. loricatus, S. robustus.


Characteristics

Saltasaurus had hundreds of bony studs on its back and sides. It had a flexible tail and may have reared up on its back legs to reach leaves in tall trees. Its broad back and strong, broad upper tail bones may have enabled the tail to be used as a prop at times. It also had a few bony plates for protection on its back.


Size

LENGTH: 12 m (39 ft).

WEIGHT: 6 - 8 tons.


Behavior

As a medium size sauropod it was still a large herbivore and competed with the recently arrived hadrosaurs. It was probably social like most sauropods producing large numbers of eggs at nesting sites but it is unlikely saltasasurs could have provided parental care because of the size difference.


History of Discovery

Discovered by Bonaparte and Powell in 1980 and known from partial skeletons and armor from at least 5 individuals.


Paleoenvironment

Found in southern Argentina. This last part of the age of dinosaurs in the southern hemisphere shows a mix of South American carnotaurine theropods and saltasaurine sauropods with duck bills and nodosaurs from North America.


References

1. Paul, G. (2010). The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs (pp. 10-12). Princeton, New Jersey: University Press Princeton.

2. Worth, G. (1999). The Dinosaur Encyclopaedia (pp. 1943). Scarborough, Western Australia: HyperWorks Reference Software.