Named By: Louis Agassiz - 1844.
Synonyms: Aetosauroides? Calyptosuchus?
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Aetosauria, Stagonolepididae.
Species: S. robertsoni (type), S. olenkae, S. wellesi?
Size: Up to about 3 meters long.
Known locations: Europe, Scotland - Lossiemouth Sandstone Formation and Poland - Drawno Beds Formation. Possibly North America and even South America.
Time period: Carnian of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: Multiple individuals.
had the typical aetosaur
body form, quadrupedal, short legs and
osteoderms than ran down the length of the body. This form could be
described as crocodile-like, but caution should be exercised before
assuming that Stagonolepis lived like a crocodile
Stagonolepis had neither piercing or slicing
teeth, but peg-like
teeth adapted for stripping the foliage from ferns. Stagonolepis
had a toothless beaked tip to the front of the jaws which could have
been used for digging up buried plants. As such the osteoderm armour
of Stagonolepis was probably more for protection
from the jaws of
archosaurian predators of the time possibly similar to Smok
this particular genus lived slightly later).
There is still some confusion about Stagonolepis, specifically regarding if any other genera are synonymous to it. Calyptosuchus from North America has for some time been considered to be a synonym to Stagonolepis, something which led to the creation of the species S. wellesi. Aetosauroides from South America has also been considered to be a synonym to Stagonolepis with smaller individuals belonging to S. robertsoni, larger ones to S. wellesi. Later studies of these fossils have now yielded the opinion that both Calyptosuchus and Aetosauroides are actually valid as distinct genera. If this is correct, then the species of Stagonolepis will be reduced to just two, S. robertsoni from Scotland and S. olenkae from Poland. Needless to say this will also mean that Stagonolepis only has a European distribution.
- South American occurrences of the Adamanian (Late Triassic: latest Carnian) index taxon Stagonolepis (Archosauria: Aetosauria) and their biochronological significance, A. B. Heckert - 2002.
- Aetosaur dermal armor from the Late Triassic of southwestern North America, with special reference to material from the Chinle Formation of Petrified Forest National Park, R. A. Long and K. L. Ballew. 1985.
- The skull of an early Late Triassic aetosaur and the evolution of the stagonolepidid archosaurian reptiles, Tomasz Sulej - 2010.
- A reappraisal of the taxonomic status of Aetosauroides (Archosauria, Aetosauria) specimens from the Late Triassic of South America and their proposed synonymy with Stagonolepis, J. B. Desojo & Martin D. Ezcurra - 2011.