STL Science Center

STL Science Center

16 January 2015

I Could Have Sworn...

©Harrison Zhao
I really thought that I had covered this topic before, but a thorough search of the Dinosaur of the Week archives turns up only three mentions of Saltasaurus loricatus. Those three instances are all made in the same context and mention Saltasaurus as a prey item. Saltasaurus was a respectable size for a Late Cretaceous Gondwanan Titanosaurid, though, at 12 meters (39 feet), it is certainly not the largest of the Titanosaurs to have been recovered from South America. Diverging slightly from many other Titanosaurs, Saltasaurus had a very distinctive skull shape that was much more reminiscent of the North American Diplodocid dinosaurs of the Jurassic. The shape of the head was not the only similarity, Saltasaurus also possessed peg-like teeth that were blunt and present only in the rostral half of the mouth. Saltasaurus, when discovered in 1980, was also an extremely unique sauropod in that it possessed clearly defined osteoderms like those seen on crocodilians and, later, other sauropods.

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