Shuvosaurus inexpectatus

  • Pronounced:  Shoe - voe - Saw - rus

  • Diet:  Omnivorous

  • Name Means:  "Shuvo Lizard"

  • Length:  unknown

  • Height:  unknown

  • Weight:  unknown

  • Time:  Late Triassic - 223 MYA

Fossil remains for this Dinosaur have been found in North America

Shuvosaurus is the earliest known beaked dinosaur. This was a small dinosaur with big eyes and no teeth. It had a sharp, pointed beak that was very powerful. It could have crushed hard nuts and berries or torn flesh from another animal. Only its skull and one other bone was found, so scientists don't know if it had long arms and claws, or what its body looked liked. Since it was such an early dinosaur, it probably looked like many other early dinosaurs, with a small, thin, two-legged body designed to move quickly.

Its little skull has caused quite a bit of debate among paleontologists. Shuvosaurus appeared with a toothless beak at a time when basal dinosaurs were just beginning to evolve some differentiating characteristics. That fact that this dinosaur seemed to have evolved such specialized characteristics so soon after the earliest dinosaurs appeared seems to show the speed of the evolutionary process. If it is in fact an early form of ornithomimid, it moves the date of the appearance of this family back 75 million years.

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