Ecuador’s first dinosaur discovered near Loja

Dec 7, 2019 | 3 comments

A team of paleontologists and geologists from Argentina and Ecuador have found the remains of what is believed to be the first dinosaur discovered in Ecuador.

Identified as a Saltasaurus, the dinosaur is believed to have lived 85 million years ago and has been named for the area of Loja Province where it was found: Yamanasaurus lojansis.

The research team, headed by Argentine paleontologist Sebastián Apesteguía, says it will report its findings in early 2020 in the paleontology journal Cretaceous Research. Apesteguía was assisted in his work by faculty and students from the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja (UTPL).

As fossilized dinosaur vertebrae found by researchers in Loja Province.

The Saltasaurus is part of a subfamily of the Titanosauruses and lived in the late Cretaceous period in South America, India and Madagascar.

Saltasauruae are relatively small members of the titanosaurus family, with a small head, long neck, four limbs, and a long tail. They range in size from about 8 meters (26 ft.), to 15 meters (49 ft.), with weights of 7,000 to 21,000 kg. (15,000 to 46,000 lbs.).

Yamana is located in Paltas Canton, in southwest Loja Province.

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