Fossil Friday: Scutellosaurus


Species: Scutellosaurus lawleri (Skew-tell-oh-saw-rus law-ler-eye)

What it means: Little shielded lizard

Other Species: None.

Where I live: Arizona in the U.S.A.- The Kayenta formation

When to find me: The Early Jurassic period, about 196 million years ago.

My favorite food: Plants! I’m an herbivore.

My neighborhood: The Kayenta formation used to be a tropical floodplain, a bit like African savannah today- but no grass or flowers. Ferns cover the open plains, dotted with islands of spiky cycad groves. Rivers crisscross the land with lush tree ferns, ginkgo trees, and conifers. Every year during the wet season the plains turn into a flooded marsh, but the hottest months bring no rain, and the rivers shrink until the plains are almost as dry as the great desert that lies to the north.

A few of my neighbors: I have to watch out for predators like Dilophosaurus and Coelophysis, but Sarahsaurus (an early sauropod) is a much bigger, more friendly neighbor. Frogs, turtles, and a few crocodile cousins stay close to the rivers. A long-tailed pterosaur patrols the skies for insects like beetles, dragonflies, an ancient cousin of the moth, and something called a snakefly.

20 thoughts on “Fossil Friday: Scutellosaurus

  1. That’s so cool!! I really like the little illustrations. The background info on plants, animals, and habitat really help me get a clear mental picture of what a dinosaur was like. It’s almost like the difference between a lion in a jungle and a lion in a savannah. 😛


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