Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Reptilia
Subclass Diapsida
Order Placodontia
Family Henodontidae
Genus Henodus
1st Species Henodus chelyops
Other attributes
Time Range 228-220 mya
Location Germany
Name Meaning Single tooth
Physical Dimensions 1 meter long
Dietary Classification Omnivore

Henodus is a henodontid placodontian reptile from the Late Triassic of Germany. It was named in 1936 by Friedrich von Huene. It was another early plant-eating marine reptile; the fact that it was one of the many genera of an order of shellfish-eaters makes it all the more interesting.


Unlike its cousin, Placodus, Henodus resembled a turtle, with a broad, shell-covered body, short legs, a moderately long tail, and a small head with small jaws. However, it had a few major differences; its shell was wider than those of living turtles, and it had a wide beak with only one tooth present, otherwise sporting baleen-like projections on its jaws. Its body was covered in scaly skin, and mostly covered by its hard shell.


Henodus was an omnivore, feeding mainly on organic matter. Its baleen-like structures were used to filter organic matter from the water; however, it may have also used its wide mouth to scrape algae off the rocky seafloor.


Due to having a large shell, Henodus had better protection from predators like Nothosaurus and Cymbospondylus than Placodus did (assuming the predators would dare attack a Placodus). However, it also hampered its movement on land; adding on to the fact that its legs were relatively weak, it can be assumed that Henodus spent barely any time on land. As well as this, Henodus' dietary preferences were open for a long time; many once considered it to be a shellfish eater similar to Placodus, Placochelys, and Psephoderma. However, due to the baleen-like projections on its jaws, people have now realized that it was an omnivorous filter feeder, swallowing large masses of tiny aquatic animals, sifting through the sand and mud in order to find food, and even using its wide mouth to scrape algae off the seafloor.

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