Fun Neuquensaurus Facts For Kids

Ritwik Bhuyan
Oct 20, 2022 By Ritwik Bhuyan
Originally Published on Sep 25, 2021
Edited by Christina Harrison
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
One Neuquensaurus fact is that this dinosaur was a small Sauropod whose fossils were first found in the Anacleto formation in Patagonia, Argentina.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.0 Min

The Neuquensaurus is an extinct genus of Sauropod dinosaurs that was found in South America, Uruguay and Argentina. These Saltasaurid dinosaurs lived in the late Cretaceous period which is around 80 million years ago. It is one of the completely known species of Patagonian dinosaurs. It is one of the smaller Sauropods with a femur around 2.5 ft (0.76 m) in length. This species is a derived Saltasaurine and is part of the family Saltasauridae which includes the Saltasaurus, the Rocasaurus, and the Bonatitan. The article 'A New Specimen of Neuquensaurus australis, a Late Cretaceous Saltasaurine Titanosaur from North Patagonia, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 25 (3)' by Salgado L., S. Apesteguía, and S.E. Heredia sheds more light on these Patagonian dinosaurs.

Fossils of this dinosaur were retrieved from the Anacleto formation of Patagonia, Argentina, in the locality of Cinco Saltos. The area is near the Neuquén river from which the name of the genus has been derived. In the year 1893, Richard Lydekker named the Titanosaurus australis based on research of some caudal vertebrae and limb elements found. Fossils were found by Santiago Roth and F. Romero in the Neuquén province of Argentina. Lydekker then was assigned to a single specimen of the dinosaur. The holotype found consisted of six caudal vertebrae. Fossils were probably found in a layer of the Anacleto formation. Some elements that were earlier attributed to the Titanosaurus australis were later reassigned to the Laplatasaurus araukanicus. This was done by Friedrich von Huene in the year 1929. Von Huene also named the Titanosaurus robustus as it differed from the T. australis in limb materials found. He described all the slender limb material to the species T. australis. However, identification of any differentiating features wasn't achieved with vertebrae. He did not compare other species to the T. robustus.

This dinosaur genus is unique among Sauropods with the sacrum composed of seven vertebrae. Almost a full skeleton of Neuquensaurus has been found. The Sauropod dinosaur was known to possess armor-like osteoderms. Relatively smaller in size, it is one of the most known species. Other than the specimen researched upon by Lydekker, a few more have been found over the years with the most recent being in 2005.

For more relatable content and to know more about some other dinosaurs living in the world before us, check out these Pegomastax facts and Eodromaeus fun facts for kids.

Neuquensaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Neuquensaurus'?

The pronunciation of the name Neuquensaurus is 'Neu-q-woo-en-saw-ras'.

What type of dinosaur was a Neuquensaurus?

We know Neuquensaurus is a genus of Sauropod dinosaurs found in the late Cretaceous period of South America. This herbivore species was found in Uruguay and Argentina and almost 13 different specimen have been found of these dinosaurs to date. They were a terrestrial species and we know that the genus has two species known so far: N. australis and N. robustus. It was first named the Titanosaurus australis (Lydekker 1893).

In which geological period did the Neuquensaurus roam the Earth?

These dinosaurs were known to exist in the late Cretaceous period.

When did the Neuquensaurus become extinct?

The Sauropod dinosaur we are discussing was known to roam the planet around 80 million years ago. Some even claim that the period of existence of this dinosaur was between 100.5 to 66 million years ago.

Where did a Neuquensaurus live?

These dinosaurs were known to be found in South American countries of Argentina and Uruguay. The first fossils were recovered from outcrops of the Anacleto formation around Cinco Saltos, Patagonia, Argentina. They were found near the Neuquén river of the region. More details have been provided in journals published by Leonardo Salgado, Sebastián Apesteguía, and Susana E. Heredia.

What was a Neuquensaurus's habitat?

The dinosaur was known to prefer terrestrial habitats and probably stayed in woodland areas. Their height was probably a benefit for them as they could easily browse through areas of vegetation that were higher up.

Who did a Neuquensaurus live with?

There is no content stating the company these dinosaurs used to keep. They probably lived in small groups or in pairs. However, judging by the size of the species, they could have lived solitarily too.

How long did a Neuquensaurus live?

We don't know the life span of this species even though a full skeleton of Neuquensaurus dinosaur has been found. It is not possible to determine the age of the dinosaur with mere skeletons. Some Sauropods were known to live for around 50-100 years.

How did they reproduce?

We don't know the reproduction method of these dinosaurs. These were oviparous dinosaurs and were known to lay eggs to reproduce. Some dinosaurs were known to lay a clutch of three to five eggs while some even laid around 15-20 eggs at a time.

Neuquensaurus Fun Facts

What did a Neuquensaurus look like?

This is one of the smallest Sauropods found and the dinosaur was believed to have armor-like osteoderms. The femur of the species was just 2.5 ft (0.76 m) long. Due to all the skeletons found, this species is one of the most fully known Patagonian Sauropod dinosaurs. Lydekker first described the species in 1893, and after that fossils have been collected in the early twentieth century and also recently which includes a well preserved and partially articulated specimen described in 2005. It also includes two associated osteoderms and one more undescribed material.

Preserved elements of the skeleton include the scapula which is co-ossified with the coracoid. The scapula is the same as that of the Saltasaurus, the Opisthocoelicaudia, the Lirainosaurus, and the Alamosaurus. Coracoids are quadrangular in shape which is similar to the Saltasaurus and the Lirainosaurus.

Some characteristics even distinguish these dinosaurs from Tintanosaurian dinosaurs. The possession of posterior caudal centra which are dorsoventrally flattened and strongly developed fibular lateral tuberosity are some features found by Otero, 2010.

*We've been unable to source an image of a Neuquensaurus and have used a sketch of a herbivorous dinosaur instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a Neuquensaurus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at hello@kidadl.com.

How many bones did a Neuquensaurus have?

The total number of bones is not known although the full skeleton has been found. The number has not been quantified yet. Von Huene (1929) did mention the existence of 13 bones of the pectoral girdle, but only 11 of them are present in the Museo de La Plata.

How did they communicate?

We have no content available to know the mode of communication of these dinosaurs. Dinosaurs were known to usually communicate vocally or visually. Some even showed body postures to attract their mates or show strength to predators.

How big was a Neuquensaurus?

A clear idea of this information is not available yet; however, many claim that the estimated length is about 26.24 ft (8 m).

The femur is known to be 2.5 ft (0.76 m) long.

How fast could a Neuquensaurus move?

Due to their bigger size the species might not have been too quick. However, the actual speed of the dinosaur is not known.

How much did a Neuquensaurus weigh?

The weight of the species is not known.

What were the male and female names of the species?

We have no information on different names given to males and females of the species. This data is unavailable in all journals published.

What would you call a baby Neuquensaurus?

The name of the baby of a Neuquensaurus dinosaur is not known or not given.

What did they eat?

These dinosaurs were strictly herbivorous and were known to feed on plant and vegetation. They probably chose woodland areas where vegetation was abundant and they could even eat and browse through higher trees due to their height.

How aggressive were they?

They were not known to be aggressive at all and Sauropods were probably one of the calmest dinosaurs of all time.

Did you know...

Many characteristics are enough to distinguish the Neuquensaurus from other Titanosaurians. Features found by Otero, 2010 of posterior caudal centra that were dorsoventrally flattened with strongly developed fibular lateral tuberosity is proof of the above statement. Alejandro Otero (2010) along with Sergio F. Vizcaino in their article 'Hindlimb musculature and function of Neuquensaurus australis (Sauropoda: Titanosauria)' printed in 2008 mentioned these differences elaborately.

The Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology by L. Salgado, S. Apesteguía, and S.E. Heredia has been very useful as it has given us a lot of information on the type species Neuquensaurus australis.

There have been a lot of confusion regarding this genus. Lydekker R first named this species Titanosaurus australis based on remains found by Santiago Roth and F. Romero in the Neuquén province of Argentina. Von Huene then reassigned this species to the Laplatasaurus araukanicus and also named a different species T. robustus. It was different from the other species due to the limb material found. From the material von Huene assigned to T. robustus, José Fernando Bonaparte took four lectotypes, a left femur, both ulnae, and a left radius. This was in the year 1978. In 1986, Jaime Eduardo Powell said that the T. australis was less similar than the Laplatasaurus araukanicus was to the Titanosaurus indicus. He therefore named a different species called the Neuquensaurus. It was not official at the time and remained invalid. In 1990, both species were put under the genus Saltasaurus by John Stanton McIntosh and he claimed that the earlier division was not justified as the evidence was not enough to create a new taxon. In 1992, Powell validly named the genus Neuquensaurus.

What does the Neuquensaurus mean?

The name Neuquensaurus was given as remains of the dinosaur were found by Santiago Roth and F. Romero in the Neuquén province of Argentina at the Neuquén River of Patagonia. The fossil was probably found in a layer of the Anacleto formation.

Is the Neuquensaurus a Sauropod?

Yes, the Neuquensaurus is an extinct genus of Saltasaurid Sauropod dinosaur living in South America in the late Cretaceous period.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other creatures from our Concavenator facts, or Camarillasaurus interesting facts for kids.

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

Neuquensaurus Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Plants, vegetation, probably leaves in tall trees

what Type of Animal were they?

Herbivores

Average Litter Size?

N/A

What Did They Look Like?

Long neck and tail, armor-like osteoderms

How Much Did They Weigh?

N/A

Skin Type

Rough skin

How Long Were They?

Estimated to be about 26.24 ft (8 m) long Femur is estimated to be 2.5 ft (0.76 m) long

How Tall Were They?

N/A

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Clades: Dinosauria, Sauropoda, Titanosauria

Genus

Neuquensaurus

Family

Saltasauridae

Scientific Name

Neuquensaurus australis (Lydekker 1893) Neuquensaurus robustus

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Terrestrial habitats

Where Did They Live?

Argentina and Uruguay in South America
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Written by Ritwik Bhuyan

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English

Ritwik Bhuyan picture

Ritwik BhuyanBachelor of Arts specializing in English

A skilled content writer, Ritwik holds a Bachelor's degree in English from Delhi University. He has refined his writing abilities through his past experience at PenVelope and his current role at Kidadl. In addition to his proficiency in writing, Ritwik has pursued his passion for flying by achieving CPL training and becoming a licensed commercial pilot. This diverse skill set highlights his commitment to exploring multiple fields. Ritwik's experience in the aviation industry has provided him with a unique perspective and attention to detail, which he brings to his writing.

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