Saltasaurus Dinosaur Facts

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Dinosaur Jungle   >   Dinosaur Names   >   Saltasaurus
Dinosaur Jungle   >   Dinosaur Types   >   Saltasaurus



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Scientific Classification
  Kingdom Animalia
  Phylum Chordata
  Class Sauropsida
  Superorder Dinosauria
  Order Saurischia
  Suborder Sauropodomorpha
  Infraorder Sauropoda
  (unranked) Titanosauria
  Family Saltasauridae
  Genus Saltasaurus
Saltasaurus was a massive plant-eater (herbivore) that lived in the late Cretaceous period, between about 75 and 65 million years ago. It lived in South America - fossils have been found in Argentina and Uruguay.

Saltasaurus was around 39 feet (12 meters) long. It probably weighed about 8 tons. In other words, although a massive animal, it was comparatively small for a Sauropod dinosaur.

Saltasaurus was discovered in 1980. The first fossils found came from the Salta province in Northwest Argentina, and hence the name, which means "lizard from Salta". Subsequently, additional fossils have been found in Uruguay.

Prior to the discovery of Saltasaurus, scientists assumed that their great size was sufficient protection for Sauropod dinosaurs. However, when Saltasaurus was discovered, the fossils found, include bony armor plates ("osteoderms") about 4 to 5 inches (10 to 12 centimeters) in diameter, and thus it is believed that Saltasaurus had some armored protection against predators. There is even some suggestion that the bony plates may have had spikes, although more fossils are needed to confirm ot disprove this hypothesis. Since the discovery of Saltasaurus, scientists have also begun to investigate whether some other Sauropods may also have had armor, and again there seems to be some evidence that for some types of Sauropod, this was the case.

In 1997, hundreds of eggs containing fossilized embryos of Sauropod dinosaurs, most likely Saltasaurus, were found in Patagonia, Argentina. Each egg was about 4 to 5 inches (10 to 12 centimeters) in diameter, and it appears that the female dinosaurs buried these eggs in sand and vegetation. Particularly noteable, is the large number of animals which must have been at the same location at the same time - if these are Saltasaurus eggs, this would suggest that Saltasaurus lived in herds.


Saltasaurus Timeline:

Saltasaurus was a herbivore (plant-eater) that lived from 75 to 65 million years ago

Saltasaurus was a herbivore (plant-eater) that lived from 75 to 65 million years ago

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Saltasaurus Facts

Here is a summary of some of the key facts about Saltasaurus:
  1. Saltasaurus was a genus of dinosaur.

  2. "Saltasaurus" means "lizard from Salta" (after the province in Argentina where it was first found).

  3. Saltasaurus was a member of the Saurischia ("lizard-hipped") order of dinosaurs. What this means, is that although Saltasaurus was not closely related to lizards, it did have similarly shaped pelvic bones.

  4. Saltasaurus was a Sauropod - a member of a group of related large quadrupedal herbivorous (plant-eating) dinosaur with long necks.

  5. Saltasaurus lived between about 75 million years ago and 65 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous period.

  6. Saltasaurus was one of the dinosaurs which died out during the Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction at the end of the Mesozoic Era.

  7. Saltasaurus lived in South America (fossils have been found in Argentina and Uruguay).

  8. Saltasaurus was a herbivore (plant-eater).

  9. Saltasaurus was about 39 feet (12 meters) long.

  10. Saltasaurus weighed about 8 tons.

  11. Saltasaurus seems to have been protected by bony armor plates. It is even possible some of the plates may have had spikes, but this is not certain.

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