Scutosaurus was a genus of armor-covered pareiasaur that lived around 252-248 million years ago in Russia, in the late Permian period. Its genus name refers to large plates of armor scattered across its body. It was a large anapsid reptile that, unlike most reptiles, held its legs underneath its body to support its great weight
Scutosaurus was a massively built reptile, up to 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) in length, with bony armor, and a number of spikes decorating its skull. Despite its relatively small size, Scutosaurus was heavy, and its short legs meant that it could not move at speed for long periods of time, which made it vulnerable to attack by large predators. To defend itself Scutosaurus had thick powerful muscles, especially in the neck region. Underneath the skin were rows of hard, bony plates (scutes) that acted like a form of chain mail.
As a plant-eater living in a semi-arid climate, Scutosaurus would have wandered widely in order find fresh foliage to eat. It may have stuck closely to the riverbanks and floodplains where plant life would have been more abundant, straying further afield only during times of drought. Its teeth were flattened and could grind away at the leaves and young branches before digesting them at length in its large gut. Given that it needed to eat constantly, Scutosaurus probably lived alone, or in very small herds, so as to avoid denuding large areas of their edible plants.
With its large cheekbones, Scutosaurus may have been able to make a loud bellowing sound. It had excellent hearing and could have heard other animals bellowing from some distance away. These noises could have been used for mating or as warning signals.
Jurassic Park Franchise
Scutosaurus did not appear in the Jurassic Park novels or the movies, it only appeared in two Jurassic Park toy lines Jurassic Park Series 2 as a prototype and The Lost World Series 1 in a set with Estemenosuchus. Its appearance is not accurate compared to the real life Scutosaurus due to the fact that no fossil evidence suggests that the creature bore walrus-like tusks as seen on the toy.
Scutosaurus appears in the Mattel Line for 2020. The figure has a dark red coloration with purplish blue stripes on its head and body with a purple spot on its eye.