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Desmatosuchus (pronounced des-mat-oh-SUE-kus) was a ancient armored aetosaur that had sharp spines running along its body (aetosaurs were reptiles but not dinosaurs).

Diet: Desmatosuchus was an herbivore (plant-eater); it had weak, peg-shaped teeth.

When Desmatosuchus Lived: Desmatosuchus lived during the late Triassic period, roughly 230 million years ago.

Anatomy: Desmatosuchus superficially resembled a crocodile with spikes, but had a much shorter, beak-like snout. It was about 16 feet (5 meters) long. This armadillo-like animal had a bulky body, four short legs, a long tail, and bony armor on its back, tail, and part of its belly. The spines were up to 18 inches (45 cm) long (the longest spines were on the shoulders).

Fossils and Name: Desmatosuchus means "link crocodile"; it was named by Case in 1920. Fossils have been found in Texas, USA, North America.

Classification: Class Reptilia (reptiles), Infraclass Archosauromorpha, Superorder Archosauria, family Stagenolepididae, genus Desmatosuchus, type species D. haploceros .

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