(Terrible toothed lizard).
Named By: Jaci Antonio Louzada Tupi Caldas - 1936.
Synonyms: Dinodontosaurus oliveirai.
Classification: Chordata, Synapsida, Therapsida, Anomodontia, Dicynodontia, Kannemeyeriidae.
Species: D. pedroanum (type), D. tener, D. turpior.
Size: Up to 2.4 meters long.
Known locations: Argentina, Brazil and Germany.
Time period: Mid Triassic.
Fossil representation: Many individuals, including remains of juveniles.
a length approaching two hundred and forty centimetres long,
Dinodontosaurus was certainly large for a
dicynodont, though relative
genera such as Placerias
were even larger still.
Dinodontosaurus are quite common, especially in
South America where the
majority of known fossils come from. The name Dinodontosaurus
‘terrible toothed lizard’, and this is a reference to the large
downward pointing tusks that grew from the top jaw. Like other
dicynodonts, it is widely believed that htese tusks would have
primarily been used for digging up plants so that access could be
gained to the roots. Once exposed the powerful mouth which formed into
the shape of a beak would then easily slice up the root stock that it
could be more easily swallowed and digested.
Dinodontosaurus fossils have also yielded a glimpse into the parenting behaviour of dicynodonts, with the remains of ten Dinodontosaurus juveniles being found togther. These remains suggest that juveniles would have formed creches that may then have been watched over by larger adults so that they could be kept safe from the larger predators of the time rausuchians.