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Trilophosaurus

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Trilophosaurus

Trilophosaurus ("lizard with three ridges") is a lizard-like trilophosaurid allokotosaur known from the Late Triassic of North America. It was a herbivore up to 2.5 m long. It had a short, unusually heavily built skull, equipped with massive, broad flattened cheek teeth with sharp shearing surfaces for cutting up tough plant material. Teeth are absent from the premaxilla and front of the lower jaw, which in life were probably equipped with a horny beak. The skull is also unusual in that the lower temporal opening is missing, giving the appearance of a euryapsid skull. Because of this, the trilophosaurs were once classified with placodonts within Sauropterygia. Carroll (1988) suggested that the lower opening may have been lost to strengthen the skull.

The Land Before Time

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A striped Trilophosaurus can be seen in the foreground, in front of Littlefoot's grandmother

In The Land Before Time, a striped Trilophosaurus is seen standing on a rock nearby Grandma Longneck watching Littlefoot's birth.

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