Fun Dinodontosaurus Facts For Kids

Christian Mba
Jan 30, 2023 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Sep 30, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Our Dinodontosaurus facts are perfect for you to get to know these unusual animals!

The genus Dinodontosaurus, which means 'terrible-toothed lizard', comprises dicynodont therapsids from the Middle Triassic to the Late Triassic period with a temporal range of around 242-235 million years ago and went extinct upon nearing the Upper Triassic.

The fossils of these dicynodonts were found in the assemblage zone of the Santa Maria Formation in the Rio Grande do Sul of southern Brazil, and the Chañares Formation of Argentina. These dicynodont species were the largest living herbivorous reptiles of their time, but they were often preyed upon by large carnivorous dinosaurs such as the Decuriasuchus and Prestosuchus.

Among their fossils, around 10 juvenile specimen types were found together, suggesting they lived in a group and also cared for their young collectively in groups.

Dinodontosaurus belong to the clade of Dicynodonts, which means they had the distinguished beak-like mouth, a pair of tusks, large, barrel-shaped bodies, and strong limbs. Dicynodonts came into existence during the Guadalupian period, dominated the Late Permian, and almost got wiped out towards the Permian-Triassic extinction event.

However, among the rebounded species were the Dinodontosaurs, and they made it till the end of the Triassic.

If you want to know more about prehistoric wildlife, check out the Dinohyus and the Tanystropheus.

Dinodontosaurus Interesting Facts

Was the Dinodontosaurus a dinosaur?

No, the Dinodontosaurus is an extinct reptile.

How do you pronounce 'Dinodontosaurus'?

The name 'Dinodontosaurus' is pronounced as 'dy-noe-dont-oh-sore-us'.

What type of prehistoric animal was a Dinodontosaurus?

The Dinodontosaurus was a non-mammalian herbivorous therapsid.

In which geological period did the Dinodontosaurus live?

These extinct south American dicynodonts as estimated to have lived during the Middle Triassic to the Late Triassic and vanished around the Upper Triassic period.

When did the Dinodontosaurus become extinct?

These ancient dicynodont herbivores are said to have gone extinct 242-235 million years ago.

Where did a Dinodontosaurus live?

The bone fossils of this species were mainly found in South America among their assemblage zone in the Santa Maria Formation in the Rio Grande do Sul of southern Brazil, and the Chañares Formation in Argentina.

What was a Dinodontosaurus' habitat?

These extinct dicynodont herbivores are speculated to have lived in terrestrial regions with immediate access to water, such as floodplains and banks of lakes or rivers with thick grazing vegetation.

Who did a Dinodontosaurus live with?

Based on the assemblage of their fossil remains, along with the fossils of the pups, it is suggested that these animals lived in groups and the entire group would be in charge of caring for the young ones of the herd.

How long did a Dinodontosaurus live?

Based on the discovered bones, no estimations have been made about the lifespan of these animals.

How did they reproduce?

 There is no information about the reproduction process of these animals. However, sexual dimorphism is observed in some dicynodont species, in which the tusks of the male are larger than the females.

This could mean that mating rituals involved visual display. In addition, the fossil remains of the 10 pups in Candelária, Brazil, suggest that parental care was a feature of how these animals used to raise their young.

Dinodontosaurus Fun Facts

What did a Dinodontosaurus look like?

These animals had hefty bodies, padded feet, strong limbs, a short tail, and beak-like mouth with fangs.

The South American Dinodontosaurus' size was massive and it was considered to be one of the largest herbivores of this age with a prominent dicynodont skull structure. Their skull was quite light but tough and tapered towards the mouth into a toothless, beak-like shape, like the leatherback sea turtle.

They had large temporal fenestra which accommodated large jaw muscles.

They also had a pair of tusks which was a feature of sexual dimorphism, larger in males and smaller in females.

The assemblage of its limbs, body, and skull gives these dicynodonts a barrel-shaped appearance with a stout but strong form. The fossil material suggests that these animals had sturdy hind limbs with a large, powerful ilium and pectoral girdle but a tiny, stubby tail.

How many bones did a Dinodontosaurus have?

Based on the research related to the described specimen types, the number of bones in the body of this dicynodont has not been recorded.

How did they communicate?

The communication pattern of this genus of non-mammalian dicynodonts has not been confirmed. However, this species is known to coexist in a group which means they would have used some type of audio or visual signals to communicate.

How big was a Dinodontosaurus?

Based on the fossil of this South American dicynodont, it was around 7.8 ft (2.4 m) long which is the same as a female Bengal tiger, and 3.6 ft (1.1 m) tall which is slightly smaller than a black-tailed deer.

How fast could a Dinodontosaurus move?

The exact speed at which the members of the Dinodontosaurus genus could move is unknown.

How much did a Dinodontosaurus weigh?

This prehistoric therapsid weighed around 1000 lb (453.59 kg) which is around the same as an average paint horse.

What were the male and female names of the species?

There are no separate names for the male and females of this genus. However, they have different scientific names based on their species, which are M. tener, M. brevirostris, and M. turpior.

What would you call a baby Dinodontosaurus?

Baby Dinodontosaurus can be called pups or juveniles.

What did they eat?

The build of their mouth suggests that these animals could tear through and feed on roots and tough plants.

How aggressive were they?

Not much is known about the behavior of these inhabitants from the Middle to Late Triassic period, but they were herbivores and would have been harmless. However, there is a chance that they may have displayed aggressiveness during territorial disputes when mating, or if threatened by other animals.

Did you know...

Dicynodonts consist of a range of species from the size of mice to elephants and are the most successful reptilian therapsids with its 70 plus known genera.

Why is it called Dinodontosaurus?

The toothless mouth with its overall horny, beak-like structure is the reason behind the name of this genus received the name, Dinodontosaurus, which means 'terrible-toothed lizard'.

Who discovered Dinodontosaurus?

Although the exact story about the discovery of this genus is not clear, it was described by Alfred Sherwood Romero in 1943 and is synonymous with Diodontosaurus pedroanum, Tupi-Caldas 1936.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly prehistoric animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other dinosaurs from our Dolichorhynchops facts and Arizonasaurus facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable dinodontosaurus coloring pages.

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba picture

Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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