The Saltasaurus was a genus of large dinosaurs that inhabited our planet during the Cretaceous period (approximately 73 million years ago). This genus has been classified within the sauropod dinosaurs Saltasaurus.
This genus would have been relatively large in size compared to the other dinosaurs. It was about 12 meters long and weighed about 7 tons.
The most remarkable characteristic of the Saltasaurus was its robustness, which was very hardened, in addition to having dorsal plates and spikes.
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Taxonomy of the Saltasaurus
This luxurious dinosaur has its own taxonomy which can be broken down as follows:
- The Domain is: Eukaryota
- The kingdom of this animal is: Animalia
- Dinosaur subrein: Eumetazoa
- Superphylum of this animal: Deuterostomia
- Edge of the dinosaur: Chordata
- The Subphylum of this specimen is: Vertebrata
- The Class of this dinosaur is: Sauropside
- Animal superorder: Dinosaur
- Order of the Specimen: Saurischia
- Dinosaur suborder: Sauropodomorpha
- Specimen under-order: Sauropoda
- Animal family: Saltasauridae
- The subfamily of the specimen is: Saltasaurinae
- The Genus of this animal is: Saltasaurus
Characteristics of the Saltasaurus
The Saltasaurus did not turn out to be an animal of enormous dimensions compared to other sauropods, however if we compare it to a human being, this animal would probably make us look like real little beings.
The head of the reptile had a series of similarities with the diplodontidae specimens, besides that, it is presumed that it was one of the first creatures that kept plates, which were inserted in the skin.
These plates are called osteoderms, which were also found among the remains of titanosaurids.
In addition, we can carefully observe the curious crest that this specimen has, which is distributed from the area of the nape of the neck to the back of the animal, a characteristic that is also present in other diplomacidal specimens.
In fact, a rather controversial situation developed at the time of the discovery of the Ostreodes, in fact many paleontologists went so far as to suggest that it was actually a structure belonging to an Ankylosaurid.
Confusion that is quite simple to understand, because the ankylosaurids also had such a structure and it was quite similar. However, after making the respective analysis, it became known that this element belonged to the body of the Saltasaurus.
The length of this specimen did not exceed 12 meters, while its weight was calculated in more than 7 tons.
The head of the animal was not of a considerable size, meanwhile the dental elements enjoyed a quite peculiar shape, similar to a spoon, likewise we can observe that its neck was of an elongated quality and quite flexible in case it needed to make fast maneuvers and of great effort.
On its extremities we can say that the posterior extremities turned out to be quite resistant since they had to resist and be the means of locomotion for such a remarkable mass, likewise we can notice the presence of a total of five fingers.
On the tail we can argue that it was a robust element that was probably used to hit their opponents, this surely was used as a powerful whip that could hurt any animal of a smaller size of Saltasaurus, the tip of the tail was thin.
Going back to the plates, some scientists call them true ostracodermes while others call them nodules, which are found in the dorsal area and were reinforced by a set of bony spikes. These structures gave a fairly solid consistency and provided protection in the dorsal area.
On the other hand, due to the great discovery of several nests full of eggs of this animal, it was concluded that this was actually a strategy that helped them survive and worked very well, because with it they managed to leave a large number of descendants, which did not happen with other types of dinosaurs.
If we focus a little more on the vertebral zone of the hip we can see that it was conformed by a total of 6, besides that these elements together with the ilium were prepared to offer the animal a style of defense more passive than active, reason why the hard protection that it had served to resist impacts and attacks of anyone.
History of the Saltasaurus
In the formation of El Brete, the main discovery was made, around the 1970s, a place that is located a few kilometers from Salta itself, near the border of Tucumán.
From that discovery of great commotion, several groups of researchers dedicated to Paleontology, have decided to put their greatest efforts in exploring this area, which has led to a series of great discoveries and studies that we can enjoy today.