Prehistoric Earth Wiki

Resoration of Rutiodon

Rutiodon was a phytosaur from the Late Triassic of North America.[1]


As an adult, Rutiodon measured 3 meters or more in length.[2] Like other phytosaurs, its body shape was very reminiscent of a crocodile's, but its nostrils were closer to the eyes instead of at the tip of the snout. Also like modern crocodilians, Rutiodon was covered with bony scutes.[3]


Rutiodon was a type of phytosaur, and thus one of the more basal archosaurs. There are two species in the genus.[4]


The type species of Rutiodon, R. carolinensis, was described by Ebenzer Emmons in 1856.[5] In 1910, a second species was discovered alongside the Hudson River in Fort Lee, New Jersey. The bones were moved to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and then sent to the paleontologist Freidrich von Huene of Germany, who described it as R. manhattanensis in 1913.[4]

In popular culture[]

Rutiodon is one of the better-known phytosaurs due to its appearance in the 2001 Discovery Channel documentary When Dinosaurs Roamed America, where it appeared alongside the dinosaur Coelophysis and the gliding reptile Icarosaurus. Rutiodon has also been featured in the documentary Animal Armageddon.


  1. Michelle R. Stocker (2010). "A new taxon of phytosaur (Archosauria: Pseudosuchia) from the Late Triassic (Norian) Sonsela Member (Chinle Formation) in Arizona, and a critical reevaluation of Leptosuchus Case, 1922". Palaeontology 53 (5): 997–1022. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2010.00983.x.
  2. Gaines, Richard M. (2001). Coelophysis. ABDO Publishing Company. p. 21. ISBN 1-57765-488-9.
  3. Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 95. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harper, David P. Roadside Geology of New Jersey. Missoula, Montana: Mountain Press Publishing Company. 2013. p. 145-146.
  5. Geological report of the midland counties of North Carolina by Ebenezer Emmons. New York, G.P. Putnam & Co.; Raleigh, H.D. Turner, 1856.