Saltasaurus

SALTASAURUS


(salt-uh-SOR-us)


MEANS:
Lizard from Salta

PERIOD:
Late Cretaceous – 70 Mya

WHERE:
South America: Argentina

SIZE:
Length: 12.2 meters (40 feet)
Height: 4.9 meters (16 feet)
Weight: 7 tonnes (15,432 lb)






In South America and Africa, sauropods like Saltasaurus remained the dominate herbivores of the Cretaceous, unlike North America and Asia, where hadrosaurs were the dominate species.

Discovered in 1980, Saltasaurus forced paleontologists to consider that size alone would have been a defence against predators. Skin impressions showed that these titanosaur sauropods were covered in crocodile-like armour which was 10 to 12 centimetres (4 to 5 inches) in diameter. Further, nesting grounds were discovered indicating that several hundred females had gathered to deposit their eggs. This type of herd behaviour was also a protection mechanism against predators.