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267

Redondasaurus

OLogy Series
extinct animal
card
267

Redondasaurus

OLogy Series
extinct animal

One look at Redondasaurus, and you might think it's a crocodile. After all, it has a similar long, armored body, with a long snout and short legs. But this massive creature belonged to a group of reptiles called phytosaurs that went extinct millions of years before the first modern crocodiles appeared on Earth. However, phytosaurs and crocodiles do share a common ancestor, so you could say they're distant cousins.

A major difference between the Redondasaurus and the crocodile is its:

nose

scales

teeth

Are you right?

Correct!

The nose of the Redondasaurus was on top of its head. The crocodile’s nose is at the end of its snout.

The Redondasaurus can grow as a long as:

a Volkswagen Beetle

a pickup truck

a school bus

Are you right?

Correct!

The Redondasaurus could grow up to 30 feet long! It was one of the largest phytosaurs.

Like most crocodiles, the Redondasaurus relied on its speed to catch its prey.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fiction

Like crocodiles, the Redondasaurus probably moved very slowly, with a similar sprawling gait. This ambush predator would get within striking distance before taking a snap!

The snouts of phytosours come in different shapes and sizes.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fact

Like crocodiles, phytosours have a variety of snout shapes. They range from long and narrow to short and thick.

The Redondasaurus spent most of its life in thick forests.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fiction

Like modern crocodiles, the Redondasaurus probably spent most of its life in watery habitats such as rivers and lakes.

Redondasaurus
Locality found: North America
Age: Late Triassic, 230-200 mya
Size: 20-30 feet long
Diet: carnivore (fish, reptiles, possibly dinosaurs)
Characteristics: armored plates covering its back; elongated snout; short limbs
Significance: This massive phytosaur is a crocodilian relative.

Image credits: Sean Murtha.