Plateosaurus A Member of the Sauropodamorpha

Known as “Flat Lizard”, vast herds of Plateosaurs roamed across what was to become Europe during the Late Triassic.  Growing to lengths in excess of eight metres and perhaps weighing as much as four metric tonnes, the Plateosaurs were amongst the very first dinosaurs to grow extremely large.  Although most probably vegetarian, studies of the teeth of these dinosaurs show that they were robust enough to tackle prey and it has been speculated that occasionally these lumbering giants may have supplemented their diet of coarse vegetation by scavenging the carcases of dead animals.  Although not regarded as nimble, it has even been suggested that these long-necked dinosaurs could catch prey, perhaps they could trap smaller reptiles with their large, five-clawed hands.

An Illustration of the Dinosaur Known as Plateosaurus

A rearing Plateosaurus.

A rearing Plateosaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Several skull studies indicate that these heavy dinosaurs had the same skull bone arrangements found in living raptors (eagles and hawks).   These skull bones would have helped these dinosaurs focus on small objects or objects at a distance, perhaps this anatomical trait also hints at a more blood thirsty life style than previously thought.

Collecta have made a wonderful hand-painted model of Plateosaurus: Collecta dinosaur models

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