Shuvosaurus (Greek for "Shuvo lizard"); pronounced SHOO-voe-SORE-us
Woodlands of North America
Late Triassic (215-205 million years ago)
Size and Weight:
About 10 feet long and 100 pounds
Small size; beaked skull with no teeth
When it was first described, in 1993, Shuvosaurus was thought to be a very early ornithomimid, the "bird mimic" dinosaurs that roamed Cretaceous Eurasia and North America in vast herds. Later study revealed, however, that ornithomimids were unlikely to have evolved way back in the late Triassic period, so the beaked, toothless Shuvosaurus has now been tentatively assigned as an archosaur rather than an early theropod. By the way, the name of the only species of this ancient reptile (Shuvosaurus inexpectus) refers to the fortuitous nature of its discovery; "Shuvo" is the son of the paleontologist who unearthed the bones.