Pareiasaurus

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Pareiasaurus

“Ancient ugliness” and “the reptile with the Queen-Anne legs” arc two descriptions given to this animal. It is typical of the pareiasaur family -massive, squat and with a head armoured with bony plates. It would have grazed the meadows of seedferns that represented the main plant-life of the time – especially along stream banks. dinosaur costume

 

Most of their remains are found in river deposits.

 

Features: The skull is heavy and studied with lumps and spikes. The teeth are small and leaf- shaped, serrated like vegetable graters for dealing with tough vegetable matter. Grinding teeth are present on the palate to help to pulp the food. The jaws are broad, and hinged to produce a strong bite rather than a wide gape. The body is huge and barrel-shaped, evidently to hold the enormous digestive system needed to allow the animal to break down the plant material.

 

Scutosaurus

As the pareiasaurs evolved they developed more armour, which became more and more compact. Scutosaurus was one of the most heavily armoured, although its later relative, the tiny Atithodon (only about half a metre long), was even more densely armoured. The armour is a suggestion of the evolution of a turtle shell.

 

Features: Scutosaurus is similar to Pareiasaurus but much

taller, due in part to the fact that the legs are held more directly beneath the body in an upright stance. The back is heavily armoured and the head covered in spikes and horns, with a prominent horn on the nose and a pair on the angles of the jaw. The eardrum is quite well developed, indicating that Scutosaurus would have been able to hear high frequency airborne sounds.