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Temporal range: Upper Triassic
214–204 mya
Mounted skeleton of Plateosaurus, Eberhard-Karls-University Tübingen, Germany
Scientific classification

Meyer, 1837

Plateosaurus is a prosauropod dinosaur genus. They lived during the Upper Triassic period, around 214 to 294 million years ago in what is now Europe.[1]

They were very common in their day. Over 100 skeletons have been found, some of them nearly complete. Many fossils have come from Swabia, Germany.

Plateosaurus was the first long-necked plant eater in the Triassic. An adult Plateosaurus could weigh up to 1,500 pounds (680 kg) and grow 27 feet (8.2 m) long. They had plump plant-crushing teeth, powerful hind limbs, short but muscular arms and grasping hands with large claws on three fingers. They probably used their sharp thumb claws to defend themselves against predators.[2]

The explanation of the large number of skeletons is that the areas were probably mud-traps.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Weishampel D.B. et al 2004. In Weishampel D.B.; Dodson P. & Osmólska H. (eds.), The Dinosauria. 2 ed, Berkeley: University of California Press, p. 524. ISBN 978-0-520-25408-4
  2. Barrett, Paul M. 2000. Prosauropod dinosaurs and iguanas: speculations on the diets of extinct reptiles. In Sues H-D. (ed) Evolution of herbivory in Terrestrial vertebrates: perspectives from the fossil record. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 42–78. ISBN 978-0-521-59449-3
  3. Fraas, Eberhard (1913). "Die neuesten Dinosaurierfunde in der schwäbischen Trias" [The latest dinosaur finds in the Swabian Triassic]. Naturwissenschaften (in German). 1 (45): 1097–1100. Bibcode:1913NW......1.1097F. doi:10.1007/BF01493265. S2CID 33390136. [1][permanent dead link]