Triassic Period

Triassic Dinosaurs

What was the largest dinosaur known to have existed during the Triassic period?

At present, the largest dinosaur known to have existed during the Triassic was the herbivorous Plateosaurus, with a length of up to 20 to 33 feet (6 to 10 meters). The creature had a long neck, large stocky body, and a pear-shaped trunk. Its skull was deeper than that of Coelophysis, though still small and narrow compared to the size of its body. The reptile’s teeth were set in sockets, and were small, peg-like, and leaf-shaped, with coarse serrations. The eyes were directed to the sides, rather than to the front, which reduced its depth perception, but gave the Plateosaurus a wider field of view to detect predators.

The foot of the Plateosaurus was very similar to that of Herrerasaurus and the structure of the legs indicates that this dinosaur was not a fast runner. A unique feature of Plateosaurus was its broad, apron-shaped pubis, forming a “shelf” that may have provided support for its huge gut. The animal’s tail could be bent sharply upward near its base—a good characteristic to have when rearing up against trees.


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