Named By: Charles Whitney Gilmore - 1928.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Squamata, Varanoidea, Varanidae.
Species: P. canadensis (type).
Size: Possibly about 3 meters long.
Known locations: Canada, Alberta. USA, Montana & North Dakota.
Time period: Campanian to Maastrichtian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Remains of many individuals, though often just teeth and vertebrae, two partial skeletons are known.
easiest way to describe Palaeosaniwa is as a late
lizard. Indeed the name Palaeosaniwa actually
Saniwa’, a reference to the genus Saniwa
which was a kind of
monitor lizard that lived in North America later during the Eocene.
The teeth of Palaeosaniwa are flattened like blades with small serrations along the edges which mean that Palaeosaniwa was a killer of vertebrates such as other lizards, primitive mammals to probably small dinosaurs and the eggs, hatchlings and small juveniles of larger species. Palaeosaniwa however was not the top predator of the time as predatory dinosaurs such as dromaeosaurs, troodonts and tyrannosaurs were all active in the same habitats as Palaeosaniwa.
- Fossil lizards of North Ameria’, Charles W. Gilmore - 1928.