The first large dinosaurs, such as late Triassic plateosaurs found in what is now Germany, were herbivores. Food for the huge herds of Plateosaurus was given by dense forests that grew throughout Central Europe.
The first fossils of Plateosaurs were found in 1837. Since then, many complete skeletons have been discovered in Germany, Switzerland and France.
Plateosaurus skeleton known in great detail. It was an animal that could walk on four legs or stand on its hind legs only. When Plateosaurus ran on two legs, its long tail helped it keep its balance. V had a long neck, so that he could reach the branches of trees and find tastier leaves.
It’s hard to add missing details when reconstructing Plateosaurus. We do not know, for example, what was the color of his skin. However, we do know of his skin samples. There are numerous fossils showing traces of scales on the skin of this dinosaur.
Plateosaurus is one of the first herbivorous dinosaurs. His narrow jaws closed tightly along the entire length. The teeth were not large and sharp, like the teeth of carnivorous dinosaurs. The forelimbs were also adapted to feed on plant foods. Long claws and strong fingers were needed to cut branches from trees and put food into the mouth.
The most famous plateosaurs (a whole herd of more than 50 individuals) were found in Trossingen in Germany. Scientists for a long time could not understand how these plateosaurs died. Maybe they were walking through a vast desert and died of hunger and thirst? Or they were suddenly flooded by a stream of water, and they drowned? Modern studies of the rock in which their fossilized remains were found have shown that it is sandstone deposited at the bottom of an ancient river.
Several major excavations have been carried out in Trossingen. In the 1920s. Friedrich von Huene (1875-1969) led an expedition that excavated half of the hill (above). The breed was taken away in small wheelbarrows (right), while valuable bones were delivered to the von Huene University Museum in the nearby city of Tübingen.
The sandstone containing the bones of a herd of plateosaurs is yellow-red in color, so von Huene decided that it could be the dunes of an ancient desert. However, modern research has shown that these sands were deposited at the bottom of ancient rivers. A herd of dinosaurs was suddenly flooded with water, and dozens of panicked dinosaurs fought in the advancing waters until they were covered with a sandy shaft and carried to the bottom.
From time to time, new fossil remains of Plateosaurs are found. The most famous find was made in 2007. in the town of Frick in Switzerland, when a large bone layer was found. Many complete Plateosaurus skeletons have been recovered from it, but experts estimate that about 100 more skeletons can be found in the area.
How did Plateosaurus move?? Paleontologists can make a computer model by scanning each bone and coding the range of motion of each joint. These studies showed that Plateosaurus walked on four legs.
However, it has also been proven that while running, the forelimbs could not cope with fast movements, so the dinosaur’s body was raised and leaned back so that only the hind limbs worked.