Plateosaurus

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Plateosaurus was a plant-eating dinosaur that lived in what is now France, Germany, Greenland, and Switzerland during the late Triassic period (214-210 million years ago).

 

Fun Facts

  • Plateosaurus means”Broad-Build Lizard,” probably because the dinosaur has large, strong bones.
  • The Plateosaurus was a prosauropod, an early dinosaur related to sauropods like the Brontosaurus.
  • This dinosaur grew to be 20 to 30 feet long and was an obligatory biped, which means it had to walk on its hind legs (like we do). Plateosaurus babies walked on all four limbs.
  • It had a long neck, a rectangular skull, and small, serrated teeth for tearing plants.
  • Its powerful arms had five fingers, three of which had curved claws.
  • Plateosaurus had strong back legs with four long claws. Its sturdy tail was for balance.
  • Scientists have discovered that this dinosaur grew at varying rates, probably depending on how much food was available. Some skeletons are only 15 feet long, while others are 30 feet long.
  • The Plateosaurus was probably endothermic, which means it had a highly efficient respiratory system like birds.
  • More Plateosaurus specimens have been found than any other prosauropods. Scientists think this is because the Plateosaurus was heavier than other dinosaurs of the time. It lived in boggy areas, feeding on the plants that grew there. Because of its weight, Plateosaurus was more likely to get stuck in the bogs, sinking beneath the surface, where its bones were preserved.

 

Questions and Answers

Question: Why is it more unusual to find dinosaur bones in Europe than other places?

Answer: Mostly because Europe has been inhabited for thousands of years. Earlier people often dug up the bones and thought they belonged to giants or mythical dragons. Today, it’s harder to excavate in Europe than in less inhabited areas because there are so many buildings.

 

Fun Facts

Watch a video about this dinosaur.