Fun Saltopus Facts For Kids

Anusuya Mukherjee
Oct 20, 2022 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Oct 04, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Read these fascinating amazing Saltopus facts for kids that you are sure to love
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.8 Min

Saltopus elginensis was a carnivore and it belongs to the genus of primitive bipedal dinosauriforms. This genus has contained only the Saltopus dinosaur and it is one of the most famous Elgin reptiles. This species lived during the late Triassic period in present-day Scotland.

There is only one known fossil of the Saltopus elginensis and the fragmentary remains were found by William Taylor in the Lossiemouth West and east quarries. The dinosaur was named and described by Von Huene in the year 1910.

The generic name of the dinosaur given by Von Huene is derived from the Latin language, where saltare means to jump and pous means foot. The specific name is kept after its provenance near Elgin which has the Elgin reptiles. They are called the hopping foot lizards.

The holotype of the dinosaur was excavated from the Lossiemouth West and east quarries which were about 208-237 million years ago. Saltopus was identified as a Saurischian which is a lizard-hipped dinosaur and it was thought to be a more advanced theropod.

Scroll down to read about Saltopus's life, what they fed on, their habits, and other exciting details! If you want to discover more like the Saltopus, take a look at the Nodosaurus and Silvisaurus.

Saltopus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Saltopus'?

The term Saltopus can be pronounced as Salt-o-pus.

What type of dinosaur was a Saltopus?

The Saltopus elginensis was a carnivore and it belongs to the genus of primitive bipedal dinosauriforms. This genus has contained only the Saltopus dinosaur and it is one of the most famous Elgin reptiles. This species lived during the late Triassic period in present-day Scotland. Their diet consisted of smaller dinosaurs and insects.

In which geological period did the Saltopus roam the earth?

The Saltopus dinosaur lived during the late Triassic period which was about 210-221 million years ago.

When did the Saltopus become extinct?

Dinosaurs, in general, went extinct almost 65 million years ago, that is, at the end of the Cretaceous time period, after living on the earth for about 165 million years. But this species lived during the late Triassic period which was about 210-221 million years ago. Like all other dinosaurs, they died too and are extinct today.

Where did a Saltopus live?

The Saltopus dinosaur was a predator and therefore inhabited areas that had sauropods so that it was easier for them to prey on them.

What was a Saltopus' habitat?

The dinosaur Saltopus inhabited present-day Scotland. The fossils of the species were found in the Lossiemouth West and east quarries.

Who did a Saltopus live with?

This dinosaur lived with their related breed or medium-sized dinosaurs that were carnivores as well. They lived in groups or herds in order to prey easily and also to protect themselves from bigger predators.

How long did a Saltopus live?

There isn't a definite time frame of this species's life span, but it is speculated that like other dinosaur species they survived for about 10-20 years.

How did they reproduce?

Saltopus dinosaurs, much like other reptiles, mated with each other during the breeding season and in the case of this breed, the female dinosaur laid eggs. The eggs hatch after a certain period of time and newborn dinosaurs came out.

Adult dinosaurs took care of the newborns till they could move with their parents or go along with their new family.

Saltopus Fun Facts

What did a Saltopus look like?

The fossil remains found for the hopping foot lizard was a partial skeleton that lacks the skull but includes parts of the vertebral column, forelimbs, pelvis, and- hind limbs. The size of the fossils found was the size of a house cat and was calculated roughly to be 31.5-39.4 in (80-100 cm) long.

In 2016, after various studies, the length of the dinosaur was stated to be 19.7 in (50 cm) while the weight was 0.2 lb (110 g).

The Saltopus had hollow bones like that of flying dinosaurs rather than theropod dinosaur species. Their tail was longer than their body and accounted for most of their length. Huene named them the hopping foot lizard as they were bipedal and moved around like they were jumping on their hindlimbs.

They had very sharp teeth and could bite into prey and predators in order to kill or protect themselves like Lagerpeton.

Holotype specimen of the dinosaur Saltopus

How many bones did a Saltopus have?

There is no accurate number of bones that have been reported by researchers as the Saltopus skeleton is still not being extracted fully. Until there is proper excavation, the number of bones can not be assumed.

How did they communicate?

There is no specific mention on how they communicated as it is quite difficult to find, but they definitely didn't have modern means of communication. Like any other animal, dinosaurs also communicated by making sounds and using body language.

They might have included hoots and hollers to communicate. Being ravenous, yet small, predators they did have a shrieking call which they used to communicate or scare their prey.

How big was a Saltopus?

The Saltopus size was about 19.7 in (50 cm) which makes it almost five times smaller than the Florida panther, which is 72-86.4 in (183-219.4 cm) in length.

How fast could a Saltopus move?

These dinosaurs were quite small in size in comparison to other carnivorous dinosaur species. They were smaller in size and therefore relied upon their senses as well as quick reflexes and speed and agility to be safe from bigger predators.

How much did a Saltopus weigh?

The Saltopus dinosaur weight was about 0.2 lb (110 g). This makes it almost six times lighter than the Bombay cat which weighs 7.9-15 lb (3600-6800 g).

What were the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name for the male or female dinosaurs of this species and it is commonly known as Saltopus or Saltopus elginensis.

What would you call a baby Saltopus?

The newborn dinosaur was known as hatchling or nestling. This was common for most dinosaur species.

What did they eat?

Their diet was a carnivore and therefore consisted of mainly smaller herbivorous dinosaurs and insects. They were quite ravenous and would prey on same-sized or smaller dinosaurs that were found during the Late Triassic period.

How aggressive were they?

Theropod species that are carnivores tend to be more aggressive. They weren't as large as other carnivorous dinosaurs but were smart and could run well and attack well.

Did you know...

The Saltopus is closely related to the Herrerasaurus. The Herrerasauridae is a family of carnivorous basal saurischian dinosaurs. The Saltopus is closely related to them and is a member of this family. Even then, this dinosaur is quite disputed over, as their taxonomy is unclear, due to fragmentary fossil remains being found.

It was the oldest dinosaur in Scotland.

How did the Saltopus protect itself?

The Saltopus was small in size in comparison to other theropods and therefore to protect itself, it was quite a fast sprinter due to its hollow bones and used that to an advantage. The dinosaur had also very sharp teeth, used to bite its predators.

Where was the Saltopus found?

The fragmentary remains of the dinosaur were found by William Taylor in the Lossiemouth West and east quarries.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Procompsognathus interesting facts, or Xiaotingia facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Saltopus coloring pages.

Main image by Nobu Tamura.

Second image by The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London.

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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