Saltasaurus ‭(‬Salta lizard‭)‬

Short Info

Saltasaurus ‭(‬Salta lizard‭)‬

Phonetic : Salt-ah-sore-us

Named By : Bonaparte‭ & ‬Powell‭ ‬-‭ ‬1980

Diet : Herbivore

Size : 12 meters long

Type of Dinosaur : Sauropod

Type Species : S.‭ ‬loricatus‭ (‬type‭)

Found in : Argentina,‭ ‬Salta Province‭ ‬-‭ ‬Lecho Formation

When it Lived : Late Cretaceous, 70-65 million years ago

Saltasaurus (which is a reference to “lizard from Salta”) is a genus belonging to saltasaurid dinosaurs from in the Late Cretaceous period of Argentina. The sauropods were small, but still quite heavy in comparison to the norms of modern animals, Saltasaurus was characterized by an elongated neck and short legs. The first sauropod genus that was known to have armour made comprised of bony plates embedded into the skin. The tiny bone plates, known as osteoderms are now found on titanosaurians of other species.

The Saltasaurus fossils were found in the hands of Jose Bonaparte, Martin Vince and Juan C. Leal between 1975 between 1975 and 1977 in El Brete, the Estancia “El Brete”. The discovery was made in 1977 and published in the scientific journals.

Saltasaurus was described and named by Bonaparte and Jaime E. Powell in 1980. The most common species is known as Saltasaurus. The generic name comes of Salta Province, the region of north-west Argentina in which fossils first came to light. The exact meaning is “protected by small armoured plates” in Latin.

The holotype, PVL4017-92 was discovered in a layer of Lecho Formation that dates back to the beginning of the Maastrichtian phase of the Upper Cretaceous period, about seventy million years old. It is comprised of a sacrum that is connected by two ilia. Under the inventory code PVL 4017, over 200 fossils were catalogued. They include skulls with rear elements teeth, vertebrae, teeth of the neck back, hip and tail, pieces that form the shoulder girdle, the pelvis, as well as bones from the limbs, as well as different parts of armor. These bones comprise at least five people with two adults and three children or subadults.

Presently, the only recognized species that is recognized as a species of Saltasaurus can be identified as S. the loricatus. S. loricatus, a S. robustus or an S. australis are proposed, but are now believed to be part of the genus of Neuquensaurus. In the past, armor plates from the region had been identified in the genus Loricosaurus in the work of Friedrich von Huene who assumed that they came part of an armored ankylosaurian. It was suggested that the plates are actually originated from Saltasaurus.

Source: Wikipedia