Plateosaurus was a large, bipedal herbivore, and an important member of the sauropodomorph lineage that eventually gave rise to the giant sauropods such as Apatosaurus and Brachiosaurus.

Read on to discover interesting Plateosaurus facts…

Page Index

Plateosaurus Facts

  • Type of Dinosaur: Basal sauropodomorph.
  • Diet: Herbivore.
  • Continent(s) Found: Plateosaurus fossils have been found in Europe, specifically in countries like Germany, France, Switzerland, and Greenland.
  • Length: Approximately 8 to 10 meters (26 to 33 feet)
  • Height: 3 to 4 meters (10 to 13 feet)
  • Weight: 600 to 4,000 kilograms (1,300 to 8,800 pounds)
  • Period: Late Triassic Period, approximately 214 to 204 million years ago.

What Did Plateosaurus Look Like?


Plateosaurus was a large, robust dinosaur. It measured approximately 8 to 10 meters (26 to 33 feet) in length and stood about 3 to 4 meters (10 to 13 feet) tall.

Although once thought to have been a quadruped, Plateosaurus is now believed to have been bipedal, walking on its longer hind legs.

The weight of Plateosaurus varied significantly, and is estimated to have been between 600 to 4,000 kilograms (1,300 to 8,800 pounds), depending on the individual.

Plateosaurus had a long neck and tail, which balanced its heavy, muscular body. Its forelimbs were shorter than its powerful hind limbs, each ending in grasping hands with large, clawed fingers.

The head was relatively small with a long, flat skull and numerous leaf-shaped teeth suited for an herbivorous diet.

The overall build of Plateosaurus was sturdy and adapted for a primarily plant-based diet, capable of reaching high vegetation. Although large, Plateosaurus shows several adaptations for fast running.

Over 100 Plateosaurus specimens have been found, including some near-complete skeletons, and it is one of the most studied dinosaurs. Three Plateosaurus species have been identified: P. trossingensis, P. longiceps and P. gracilis.

What Type Of Dinosaur Was Plateosaurus?

Plateosaurus As QuadrupedPlateosaurus As Quadruped
This image shows an outdated view of Plateosaurus as a quadruped. It is now thought that it walked on its hind limbs.

Plateosaurus was a basal sauropodomorph dinosaur. Sauropodomorphs are an early group of long-necked, herbivorous dinosaurs that eventually evolved into the giant sauropods of the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. (A “basal” sauropodomorph is a very early example of this type of dinosaur.)

Plateosaurus is one of the most well-known and well-studied representatives of this group, providing crucial insights into the early stages of sauropodomorph evolution.

Where Did Plateosaurus Live?

Plateosaurus lived in what is now Europe during the Late Triassic Period.

Fossils of Plateosaurus have been found in several European countries, including Germany, France, Switzerland, and Greenland.

During the Late Triassic, these regions were part of the supercontinent Pangaea, which had a warm, semi-arid climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. This environment supported diverse plant life, which Plateosaurus likely fed on as an herbivore.

When Did Plateosaurus Live?

Plateosaurus In ForestPlateosaurus In Forest

Plateosaurus lived during the Late Triassic Period, approximately 214 to 204 million years ago.

This period was a crucial time in dinosaur evolution, as many early dinosaur groups, including the sauropodomorphs, began to diversify and spread out across Pangaea.

Europe During The Triassic Period

During the Triassic Period, Europe was part of the vast supercontinent Pangaea. The geography of this region was characterized by a mix of deserts, river systems, and coastal plains.

The climate was generally warm and arid, with pronounced wet and dry seasons. This semi-arid environment supported a variety of vegetation, including ferns, cycads, ginkgos, and early conifers, forming the primary food sources for herbivorous dinosaurs like Plateosaurus.

Periodic monsoonal rains likely created lush, vegetated areas along river valleys and floodplains, providing diverse habitats for a wide range of prehistoric life.

What Dinosaurs And Other Animals Did Plateosaurus Live With?

Plateosaurus shared its Late Triassic habitat with a variety of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals. Some of the contemporaneous dinosaurs and other creatures include:

  • Procompsognathus: A small, agile carnivorous dinosaur from Triassic Europe.
  • Efraasia: A small, early sauropodomorph dinosaur found in what is now Germany.
  • Halticosaurus: A small theropod dinosaur found in what is now Germany.
  • Liliensternus: A theropod dinosaur found in what is now Germany. One of the largest Theropod dinosaurs of this time.

In addition to dinosaurs, Plateosaurus coexisted with other reptiles and amphibians, such as:

  • Aetosaurs: Armored, herbivorous (or omnivorous) reptiles resembling modern-day crocodiles. Specimens have been found in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.
  • Phytosaurs: Large, semi-aquatic reptiles with long snouts, similar to crocodiles. Specimens have been found in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.
  • Rhynchosaurs: Herbivorous reptiles with beak-like mouths found in Triassic Europe and elsewhere.
  • Temnospondyls: Large, primitive amphibians resembling modern-day salamanders.

These animals collectively contributed to a diverse ecosystem, with Plateosaurus being one of the dominant herbivores of its time.


Like other dinosaurs of the Triassic period, Plateosaurus gives us the opportunity to study how dinosaurs evolved and diversified into the major branches, such as sauropods and theropods.

Plateosaurus, being a sauropodomorph, was a member of the group of animals that were the ancestors of might herbivores such as Apatosaurus and Diplodocus.

You can see more Triassic dinosaurs on this page: Triassic Dinosaurs

You can see a list of Triassic Animals on this page: Triassic Animals (That Weren’t Dinosaurs)

Source link

By admin

Malcare WordPress Security