|“||It's a reptile. Two tons at least. Large supratemporal bosses, huge osteoderms on its back...this is Scutosaurus - a distant ancestor of turtles. Although they have no shell, their backs are covered in hard, bony plates.||„|
|— Allen, about Scutosaurus|
Scutosaurus (name meaning "Shielded Reptile") is a genus of anapsid pareiasaur reptile that originated during the Late Permian Era in what is now Asia. Standing around 2 meters tall, measuring over 3 meters long, and weighing a ton, Scutosaurus is a powerful, armor-covered herbivore that was covered in scutes of armor and is distantly related to turtles and tortoises.
In the Series 1 episode "Desert Community Water Hole", a small herd of Scutosaurus were brought back to the park from Late Permian Siberia 250 million years ago.
Era & DiscoveryEdit
Scutosaurus was among the largest plant-eater of its time. It lived in Siberia during the Late Permian Era, around 254–248 million years ago. It shared its environment alongside other animals like Coelurosauravus, Diictodon, Inostrancevia, and Rhinesuchus. Scutosaurus was first discovered in Siberia in 1922.
Scutosaurus were large and massively built pareiasaurs which measured over 8–16 feet (2.5–5 m) long and weighed 1 ton (2,000 lbs.). It had armored skin covered in lumps and wrinkles, possessing very large osteoderms on their backs. It had a large skull with chisel-like teeth designed to help it feed on vegetation. It also had a short tail.
Like with Placerias, Scutosaurus was not related to dinosaurs, but instead were close relatives to the ancestors of the Chelonians - more commonly known as Turtles and Tortoises. Despite lacking any type of shell, their backs were covered in hard, bony plates. However, they were prey animals for Inostrancevia. Once they tired from running from danger, they were vulnerable to attack.
Like the massive sauropod dinosaurs, Scutosaurus couldn't chew, but instead, they had stones inside their stomach to help grind the vegetation so their digestive juices could get to work. In addition to using their keen noses to sense danger, Scutosaurus could also smell water from several miles away.
Behavior & TraitsEdit
Like many other herbivorous animals, Scutosaurus were social creatures that normally lived and traveled in herds. Although often, during their long search for food and water, some members of the herd, such as old males, were known to stray and become loners or even get left behind. Despite its massive size, bulk and armor, Scutosaurus wasn't always safe. Large predators like Inostrancevia (as they were powerful beasts in their own right) would prey on any stragglers. Only the oldest, youngest and weakest - or those isolated and lost from their herds - were at real danger from predators.
Scutosaurus was shown to be quite nervous and suspicious around other animals such as humans, especially when said animals were moving quickly or outside of their field of vision. However, instead of attacking, Scutosaurus would instead flee in search of safety.
With the shortage of food and water during the Late Permian, Scutosaurus would travel tens to hundreds of kilometers to find the smallest scraps of vegetation or liquid. Because of this, they could survive months without water. Scutosaurus was a danger to the animals around it. With such large herds and very little water, one herd can drink a water hole within a day. This lack of water would eventually get the better of the resident animals.
- Scutosaurus was the largest terrestrial herbivore of the Permian era brought to the park.
- The sound effects of Scutosaurus are that of buffalo, bull, camel, cow, donkey, horse, walrus, and wild boar.