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titanosaur osteoderms

You are right. Body armor in Saltasaurus is
impressive. Specially the profusion of small scutes,
but the question is how many big scutes were present
in a single titanosaur specimen. Actually, the
Saltasaurus quarry preserved a lot of specimens to
know how many scutes belong to a single specimen. For
example, in the small adult saltasaurine Neuquensaurus
specimen that we described with Salgado and Heredia
(jvp 2005), we had only 2 preserved scutes.
In Bonitasaura we didn't found a single scute besides
very small and fragile bones were present and the
specimen was partially articulated. We are still
excavating anyway, with Pablo Gallina.
Number and distribution of scutes in titanosaurs is
something that, as far as I see it, none has
understood yet.
That's why I don't think that the presence or absence
of scutes in Alamoss, Opis or Futalognkoss would mean
anything, because if they had only 2 or 3 big scutes
in the whole body, they are very difficult to
Best regards. Sebastian.  

The presence of armor may correlate inversely with
size. No quantifiable study has been done on this, so
this will sound very hand-wavey, but body armor tends
to turns up in many of the smaller titanosaurs (such
as _Saltasaurus_ and some of its close relatives_),
but not the really big ones. Of course, this is
complicated by the fact that many titanosaurs are so
incompletely known that the absence of armor might be
an artifact. Cheers Tim 

Lic. Sebastián Apesteguía

Museo Patagónico de Ciencias Naturales,
Av. Roca 1250, General Roca, 
(8334) Río Negro, ARGENTINA

Sección de Paleontología de Vertebrados 
Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales 'B. Rivadavia'
Av. Ángel Gallardo 470 (1405) Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA
Tel-fax:5411-49826595 i.193, paleoninja@yahoo.com.ar

Área de Paleontología. Fundación de Historia Natural 'Félix de Azara',
Dto. de Ciencias Naturales y Antropología, CEBBAD, Univ.Maimónides, 
V. Virasoro 732 (1405), Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA
Tel-fax: 5411-49051100 i. 1228, secretaria@fundacionazara.org.ar 

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