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Rutiodon

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Rutiodon is a crocodile-like archosaur from the Late Triassic. They eat small dinosaurs and lived from the Norican.

About Rutiodon

Rutiodon ("Wrinkle tooth") is an extinct genus of archosaur belonging to the family Phytosauridae. It lived during the Late Triassic period, and was about 10 to 25 feet (3 to 8 meters) in length. Rutiodon is known from the eastern United States (North Carolina, New York, New Jersey).

Description

Like other phytosaurs, Rutiodon strongly resembled a crocodile, but its nostrils were positioned far back on the head, close to the eyes, instead of at the tip of the snout. It had enlarged front teeth, and a relatively narrow jaw, somewhat resembling that of a modern gharial. This suggests that this carnivore probably caught fish and it may also have snatched land animals from the waterside. Also, like modern crocodiles, its back, flanks, and tail were covered with bony armored plates.

The type species of Rutiodon is R. carolinensis. A second species, R. manhattanensis, was discovered in 1910 near Fort Lee, New Jersey, and named in reference to its close proximity to Manhattan.

Rutiodon in The Land Before Time

Five Rutiodons appear in the TV series in the episode, The Amazing Threehorn Girl. They attack the main characters, and, eventually they find their way into the Great Valley, where they are fended off and sent back to the Mysterious Beyond.

Trivia

  • Rutiodon is the only Phytosaur to appear in The Land Before Time franchise.
  • They are the smallest belly Draggers of all in The Land Before Time (series), though they are still much bigger than a real life Rutiodon.
  • They are the only known Belly Draggers in the franchise who hunt in packs.

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