Rutiodon ("Wrinkle tooth") is an extinct genus of archosaur belonging to the family Phytosauridae. It lived during the Late Triassic period, and was about 10 to 25 feet (3 to 8 meters) in length.[1]. The animal is known from fossils in Europe (Germany and Switzerland) as well as North America (Arizona, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas).


Like other phytosaurs, Rutiodon strongly resembled a crocodile, but its nostrils were positioned far back on the head, close to the eyes, instead of at the tip of the snout. It had enlarged front teeth, and a relatively narrow jaw, somewhat resembling that of a modern gharial. This suggests that this carnivore probably caught fish and it may also have snatched land animals from the waterside.[1] Also like modern crocodiles, its back, flanks, and tail were covered with bony armored plates.

In popular cultureEdit

Rutiodon is one of the best-known phytosaurs and appeared in the 2001 Discovery Channel documentary When Dinosaurs Roamed America, shown trying to attack a Coelophysis near the water's edge and missing.

It has also appeared in the "Land Before Time" television series.


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