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Saltasaurus was a large, plant-eating dinosaur with an elongated neck and bony armored plates on its body. It was a titanosaurid sauropod that lived during the late Cretaceous Period, about 83 to 79 million years ago.

Anatomy: This sauropod's back was covered with circular and oval-shaped bony, armored plates. The plates had rough surfaces; they were about 3.8 to 4.5 inches (10 to 12 cm) in diameter. Horns or spikes may have protruded from the plates, but this is uncertain. Saltasaurus had a small head, blunt teeth, and a short, thick tail. Saltasaurus was about 40 feet (12 m) long and weighed about 7000 kg.

Fossils: Fossils have been found in Argentina, South America. They include: a few oval and circular armored plates, hundreds of bumps which covered its back (roughly 1/4 inch = 6-7 mm in diameter), and several incomplete skeletons, including some vertebrae, limb bones, and jaws.

Name: Saltasaurus was named by paleontologists J. Bonaparte and J. Powell in 1980. Salta is the name of the Northwestern Argentinian Province where fossils were found. The type species is S. loricatus.



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