|1st Species||Placerias hesternus|
|2nd Species||Placerias gigas|
|Time Range||221-210 mya|
|Location||United States of America|
|Name Meaning||Broad body|
|Physical Dimensions||2.6 meters long|
Placerias is a stahleckeriid therapsid synapsid from the Late Triassic of the United States of America. It was named in 1904 by Frederic Lucas. It was one of the biggest anomodont therapsids; as well as this, it was considered to be the last, right before some Cretaceous anomodont fossils from Australia were uncovered.
Placerias was an anomodont with a 4 legs, a large, barrel-like body, a short tail, and a big head with a small beak and two downwards-facing tusks. Its body would have been covered in smooth skin.
Placerias was an herbivore, feeding on sparse shrubs and plant tubers. Its beak was used for slicing through thick branches and roots, while its tusks were used for digging up plants from the ground.
A small bonebed containing 40 Placerias individuals has led us to assume that it traveled in herds. As well as this, it is assumed to have been similar to a hippopotamus, wallowing around in the water in order to cool off, as well as jumping in the rivers in order to escape predators such as Postosuchus; however, it might have been more similar to a buffalo, spending most of its time on land, and only going in the water to cool off. Despite this, it did sometimes feed near rivers, digging up plants with its tusks and slicing them up with its beak. As well as this, its tusks had three other notable uses; they were used for display, protection against predators, and rutting with rival males during mating season.
In popular cultureEdit
Placerias was featured in the first episode of the 1999 documentary Walking with Dinosaurs, where it is depicted as living similarly to a hippo, feeding on riverside vegetation and spending most of its time in the water during the wet season. As well as this, it was mentioned to be extremely slow, even when in danger.