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Ulemosaurus

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ulemosaurus

Ulemosaurus (Nobu Tamura)

Name:

Ulemosaurus (Greek for "Ulema River lizard"); pronounced oo-LAY-moe-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of central Asia

Historical Period:

Late Permian (250 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 13 feet long and 1,000 pounds

Diet:

Probably omnivorous

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Dense skull; large, squat body

About Ulemosaurus:

Like other large therapsids ("mammal-like reptiles") of the late Permian period, Ulemosaurus was a squat, splay-footed, extremely slow reptile that went completely unthreatened by the more agile predators that only evolved tens of millions of years later. This bull-sized creature was distinguished by its extremely thick skull, a sign that males may have head-butted one another for dominance within the herd. While its bulky body points to a herbivorous diet, some paleontologists believe Ulemosaurus (and other large therapsids) may have been opportunistically omnivorous, basically eating anything it could hope to digest.

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