Saltopus elgininsis

  • Pronounced:  Salt - o - puss

  • Diet:  Carnivore (meat-eater

  • Name Means:  "Leaping Foot"

  • Length:  3 ft. (1 meters)

  • Height:  1 ft. (30 cm)

  • Weight:  20 pounds (9 kilos)

  • Time:  Late Triassic - 225 MYA

Fossil remains for this Dinosaur have been found in Europe

According to most scientists, Saltopus was one of the earliest dinosaurs. Other scientists think the small, swift meat-eater may have been a reptile that was not quite evolved into a dinosaur. It had features that are found on dinosaurs but which are also found on some reptiles. It ran on its hind legs, had a long snout with sharp teeth, had claws on its hand that could be used for grabbing, and it had a long tail that would have been carried off the ground. These types of animals are very important in helping understand how, when and where dinosaurs first appeared.

Saltopus was found in the northern part of England, an area not known for dinosaur discoveries and usually not considered an area of early dinosaurian evolution. Since most other basal dinosaurs have been found in what was southern Pangaea, this northern specimen is somewhat of an enigma.

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