Saltasaurus loricatus

  • Pronounced:  Salt - ah - Sore - us

  • Diet:  Herbivore (Plant-Eater)

  • Name Means:  "Salta Lizard"

  • Length:  39 feet (12 m)

  • Height:  13 feet (4 m)

  • Weight:  8 tons (7,250 kilos)

  • Time:  Late Cretaceous - 70 MYA

Fossil remains for this Dinosaur have been found in South America

Saltasaurus is the first long-necked (sauropod) dinosaur known to have armor plates. It was a medium-sized member of the same family as Argentinosaurus  . This dinosaur had a short neck for a sauropod and it had bony plates covering much of its back to protect it from the bite of hunters like Giganotosaurus  .

Saltasaurus bones had been found during much of the first half of the 20th century, but were often thought to belong to other dinosaurs. When six partial skeletons were found during the late 1970s, however, this led to the formal classification of this small sauropod .

At first look, Saltasaurus resembles a typical sauropod with a somewhat short neck (for a sauropod) and a long whip-like tail. However, Saltasaurus is the first sauropod known to have scutes (or dermal plates). For years, it was thought that the scutes found associated with the skeletons were from another dinosaur, possibly an ankylosaur.

Saltasaurus also has the distinction of laying very large eggs with the thickest shells known to exist - the shell was nearly _ inch (6mm) thick. This dinosaur was a member of the last of the sauropods, which flourished in South America long after most others had died out.

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