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Dinosaur Printouts: P-RToday's featured page: First Dinosaur Fossil Discoveries - Paleontology and Geology Glossary

More About Plateosaurus
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Plateosaurus (pronounced PLAT-ee-oh-SAWR-us) was a very common plant-eating dinosaur that lived during the late Triassic period, about 222-219 million years ago. This early dinosaur lived in a dry, almost desert-like environment in what is now Europe. Plateosaurus may have congregated in herds, and it may have migrated seasonally across the arid (dry) European landscape. The name Plateosaurus means "flat lizard."

Diet: Plateosaurus was an herbivore (it ate only plants). This long-necked dinosaur ate leaves high in the trees (like those of conifers and cycads) with sharp, leaf-shaped teeth.

Anatomy: Plateosaurus was about 27.5 feet (8 m) long and weighed about 1,500 pounds (700 kg). It had a long neck, a very long tail, a small head with a long snout, and large, five-fingered hands with a large thumb claw (and smaller claws on the other fingers). Plateosaurus may have been able to use its hand for grasping in addition to walking. Its back legs were larger than its front legs.

Name and Fossils: Plateosaurus is one of the most common dinosaur fossils found in Europe; it has been found in over 50 European locations. It was was named by the German paleontologist Hermann von Meyer in 1837.

Classification: Plateosaurus was a Saurischian dinosaur, the order of lizard-hipped dinosaurs. It was a prosauropod or sauropodomorpha (long-necked, semi-quadrupedal herbivores) and a plateosaurid (heavy, thick-limbed herbivores that include Massospondylus, Mussaurus, and Plateosaurus).

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