The weirdest reptile, ever?
- The rhynchosaur was a very odd-looking reptile with a large head, tiny eyes and a beak-like snout.
- This strange herbivore was found all over the world in the Triassic period. The earliest rhynchosaurs were small, less than a metre long, but later they evolved into creatures of up to two metres.
- The rhynchosaur had large claws on its hind feet, perhaps used for digging up roots and tubers.
- Their wide skulls had room for huge, powerful jaw muscles.
- Most reptiles have a single row of teeth in each jaw, which they replace as they wear out. But the rhynchosaur had many rows of tiny teeth which were firmly anchored to the jaw, and didn’t regrow.
- The teeth were used for cutting and crushing plant material.
- Our specimen is slightly crushed but you can still see the teeth and elongated beak.
- See this rhynchosaur skull at Lyme Regis Museum.
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