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Genus: Saltopus Huene, 1910 (nomen dubium)

Classification: Archosauria - Dinosauromorpha - Dinosauriformes

Etymology: Latin, Salto “leap”, and Greek, pous, “foot”, leaping foot.


Type species: S. elginensis Huene, 1910

Other Species: none


Species: S. elginensis Huene, 1910 (nomen dubium)

Etymology: In reference to the locality it was found, Elgin, Scotland.


Holotype: BMNH R3915: Fragmentary skeleton.

Referred Specimens: HUENE, 1932
Lettenkohle, Germany.
Late Triassic.
Material: ?????

Time: Late Carnian-Early Norian, Late Triassic.

Horizon: Lossiemouth Sandstone Formation.

Location: Stagonolepis beds, west Steinbruches, Lossiemouth, near Elgin, Moryshire Province, Scotland, Northern United Kingdom.

Total length: 80-100 cm



Comments: Saltopus was a small, 800–1000 mm-long biped, whose tail made up more than half its length. It is an avemetatarsalian because it has elongated and tightly bunched metatarsals, the tibia is longer than the femur, the calcaneal tuber is rudimentary or absent, and metatarsal II is equal to or longer than metatarsal IV; a unique assemblage of characters diagnosing this clade. Saltopus is a dinosauromorph on the basis of the reduced fingers IV and V, the saddle-shaped dorsal margin of the iliac blade, and the articulation of sacral rib 1 close to the front of the iliac blade. Saltopus is a dinosauriform on the basis of the trochanteric shelf and lesser trochanter on the proximal end of the femur, the waisted sacral ribs, and perhaps the rod-like and straight pubis. However, it lacks all apomorphies of Dinosauria, retaining for example the primitive condition of two sacral vertebrae. Cladistic analyses place Saltopus within Dinosauromorpha and Dinosauriformes, and between the basal dinosauriform Pseudolagosuchus and the derived clade consisting of Silesauridae and Dinosauria, so making it one of a radiation of small pre-dinosaurian bipedal archosaurs in the Triassic found so far in North and South America and in Europe (Benton &Walker, 2011).

S. elginensis, skeleton (Huene, 1910).

S. elginensis, skeleton


Huene, F. von, 1910, Ein primitiver Dinosaurier aus der mittleren Trias von Elgin: Geologische und Palaeontologische Abhandlungen, new series, n. 8, p. 315-322.

Huene, F. von, 1932, Die fossile Reptil-Ordnung Saurischia, ihre Entwicklung und Geschichte: Monographien zur Geologie und Palaeontologie, 1st series, heft 4, p. 1-361.

Benton, M. J., and Walker, A. D., 2011 (for 2010), Saltopus, a dinosaurifrom from the Upper Triassic of Scotland: Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, v. 101, p. 285-299.

© Tetrapoda Database Roman Ulansky roman.ulansky@gmail.com or adios85@mail.ru



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