Fun Plateosaurus Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Plateosaurus Facts For Kids

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Plateosaurus (meaning flat lizard) was a genus of long neck prosauropod dinosaurs that existed during the Late Triassic period. Over 100 skeletons and fossils of this dinosaur have been discovered across Europe to date in countries such as Germany, France, and Greenland, most of them being quite intact. Though the number of fossils found has been quite high, there is still a lot of debate and uncertainty about the exact characteristics and features of this dinosaur, due to the vast differences in size and confusion among various proposed species.

This dinosaur was mostly herbivorous in nature and though quadrupedal, preferred to be bipedal most of the time, standing on its hind legs to reach leaves on trees or the graze on grass for food. Plateosaurus teeth appear to have been plump which ground grass easily, making it easy to digest.

To learn more about this roar-some reptile, read on! For more relatable content, check out these Pedopenna facts and Acristavus facts for kids.

Fun Plateosaurus Facts For Kids

What did they prey on?

Grass, leaves, plant, fruits, vegetables

What did they eat?

Herbivores (speculated omnivores)

Average litter size?


How much did they weigh?

1,322.8-8,818.5 lb (600-4,000 kg)

How long were they?

16-33 ft (4.9-10 m)

How tall were they?

12 ft (3.7 m)

What did they look like?

Long neck, short grasping hands, thick strong legs, tapering heavy tail

Skin Type

Scaly skin

What were their main threats?

Natural disasters and extreme climate change

Where were they found?

Dry and desert-like environment











Scientific Name

Plateosaurus trossingensis, Plateosaurus longiceps, Plateosaurus gracilis

How scary were they?


How loud were they?


How intelligent were they?


Plateosaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Plateosaurus'?

Plateosaurus is pronounced as 'plat-ee-oh-sore-us'.

What type of dinosaur was a Plateosaurus?

The Plateosaurus was a type of prosauropod, the ancestor of the long-necked sauropods. The classification of Plateosaurus is a type of genus which contains a number of species.

In which geological period did the Plateosaurus roam the Earth?

The Plateosaurus walked the planet during the Late Triassic period, which occurred around 214-204 million years ago.

When did the Plateosaurus become extinct?

The last Plateosaurus dinosaur mostly died out around 204 million years ago, around the end of the Late Triassic period, and became extinct from the world.

Where did a Plateosaurus live?

The fossil remains of Plateosaurus have been found all over Europe, in countries such as France, Germany, Switzerland, and Greenland.

What was a Plateosaurus' habitat?

The dinosaurs of classification Plateosaurus lived in a dry, arid desert-like environment in what is now the continent of Europe.

Who did a Plateosaurus live with?

The Plateosaurus, like most other dinosaurs, mostly lived in packs. There are high chances of herbivorous dinosaurs living and feeding together in groups, and this theory has been developed due to the discovery of a number of fossilized trackways containing a sequence of dinosaur footprints, all suggesting the presence of dinosaurs traveling in groups. They are speculated to have migrated together across the desert in a group.

How long did a Plateosaurus live?

The minimum lifespan of a Plateosaurus dinosaur has been estimated to be at least 12-20 years from its discovered fossil. It most likely lived till 80-100 years like most other dinosaurs, attributed to its herbivorous diet and slow metabolic rate.

How did they reproduce?

Plateosaurus dinosaurs were oviparous and reproduced by laying eggs. Their mating process was mostly similar to that of modern-day reptiles, with internal fertilization taking place inside the female's body.

Plateosaurus Fun Facts

What did a Plateosaurus look like?

The Plateosaurus was a medium-sized dinosaur that had strong, thick hind legs which were made for fast running, and shorter front limbs with grasping hands, each of which had four toes ending with sharp claws. The front legs showed a primitive version of opposable thumbs, which is one of the features present in many advanced animal species. Its small skull was long and narrow, with many leaf-shaped teeth made for grinding plant matter. Its eye faced sideways rather than the front, giving it a large range view to look out for possible predators. Its long neck was quite flexible and it had a thick, tapering tail. Its body was quite long in length and thick as well, similar to that of a sauropod.

Plateosaurus skull was long and narrow and depended mostly on plant food.

How many bones did a Plateosaurus have?

Though around 100 Plateosaurus skeleton specimens have been discovered to date, there is no data about how many bones it possessed. The number of bones possessed by the average dinosaur has been worked out to be around 200, hence the Plateosaurus most probably had around 200 bones.

How did they communicate?

Dinosaurs are known for their loud, earth-shaking roars which are mostly how this dinosaur communicated. They mostly used bellowing roars, grunts of low rumbling noises to communicate, in order to mate or chase away other dinosaurs from their territories. Visual displays were also probably used, with raising of the front legs, stomping, and tail whipping involved.

How big was a Plateosaurus?

There was quite a lot of variance in the size of fully grown Plateosaurus dinosaurs, the range of length being between 16-33 ft (4.9-10 m), and its height is around 12 ft (3.7 m).

How fast could a Plateosaurus move?

Being a medium-sized bipedal plateosaurid, the walking speed of this dinosaur has been estimated to be around 2.5-3.7 mph (4-6 kph), and its peak running speed is from 23-54.7 mph (37-88 kph).

How much did a Plateosaurus weigh?

The Plateosaurus size is estimated to have weighed between 1,322.8-8,818.5 lb (600-4,000 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

A male dinosaur has been termed a saurus whereas the female dinosaur is known as saura. However, we do not make any distinction in sex while referring to dinosaurs.

What would you call a baby Plateosaurus?

Baby Plateosaurus dinosaurs, since they hatched from eggs, were known as hatchlings.

What did they eat?

Being herbivorous in nature, the Plateosaurus diet most likely consisted of leaves, twigs, grass, plant, roots, and rudimentary fruits, vegetables, and seeds. It mostly fed on food like grass, with its teeth found to be plump and strong, capable of crushing grass blades quite well. Though herbivores, the dinosaur has been speculated to supplement their diet with carrion and small invertebrates at times, due to the structure of their jaw and teeth

How aggressive were they?

Though herbivorous dinosaurs did not prey on smaller creatures for food, they still had to be quite aggressive in order to protect themselves from the larger predatory dinosaurs such as various therapods and velociraptors. They had a number of defensive mechanisms such as tough, scaly armor, bludgeon, and mace-like tails and sharp horns and spikes on their body, in order to attack any incoming predators head-on. The Plateosaurus had grasping hands and a thick tail, which would have been useful to ward off predators in direct confrontation. Its hind legs were also very strong, being useful for fast escapes from predators.

Did you know...

The discovery of the first Plateosaurus fossil was made in 1834 by Johann Friedrich Engelhardt.

The Plateosaurus was one of the first dinosaur fossils to be formally named, done so by Hermann von Meyer.

The name Plateosaurus means 'broad lizard' or 'flat lizard'.

Plateosaurus belonged to a group called prosauropods, which were the ancestors of sauropods. These dinosaurs were found during the Triassic period.

Sellosaurus is a genus of plateosaurid dinosaur considered dubious.

It was endothermic in nature, meaning it was able to maintain a favorable metabolic rate by generating heat inside of its body.

What dinosaur is the Plateosaurus related to?

Being a prosauropod dinosaur, Plateosaurus were the early ancestors of the more widely known long-necked sauropods, such as the Brontosaurus and Titanopodus. Other prosauropods include the Diplodocus and Brachiosaurus.

How many eggs did the Plateosaurus lay?

There is no information available on how many eggs the Plateosaurus laid.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other dinosaurs from our Paralititan facts and Claosaurus fun facts for kids pages.

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

Written By
Tanya Parkhi

Tanya always had a knack for writing which encouraged her to be a part of several editorials and publications across print and digital media. During her school life, she was a prominent member of the editorial team at the school newspaper. While studying economics at Fergusson College, Pune, India, she got more opportunities to learn details of content creation. She wrote various blogs, articles, and essays that garnered appreciation from readers. Continuing her passion for writing, she accepted the role of a content creator, where she wrote articles on an array of topics. Tanya’s write-ups reflect her love for traveling, learning about new cultures, and experiencing local traditions.

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