|1st Species||Placochelys placodonta|
|Time Range||221.5-205.6 mya|
|Name Meaning||Tablet turtle|
|Physical Dimensions||90 centimeters long|
Placochelys is a placochelyid placodontian reptile from the Late Triassic of Hungary and Germany. It was named in 1902 by Otto Jaekel. It was another highly evolved placodont, as its feeding style was slightly different from that of Placodus.
Like its cousin, Henodus, Placochelys resembled a turtle, with a broad, shell-covered body, large flippers, a short tail, and a small head with small jaws. However, it had a few differences; its shell was differently shaped from those of living turtles, and its flippers still had claws on them. Its body was covered in scaly skin, and mostly covered by its hard shell.
Placochelys was a predator, preying on bivalves. Instead of having normally shaped jaws with chisel-like incisors on the front of them, it had a small beak used for picking bivalves off the seafloor; however, it still had flat back teeth designed for crushing them.
Placochelys was one of the most turtle-like placodonts to swim the Triassic oceans, as it had a large shell for protection as well as long flippers for swimming. However, its flippers weren't fully evolved, and still had claws on them; this tells us that it would have spent a reasonable amount of time on land. As well as this, its feeding style was slightly different from that of Placodus; instead of picking shellfish from the seafloor with chisel-like incisors, it picked them up with a small, turtle-like beak before passing them into the mouth. However, it did still crush them with its flat back teeth.
In popular cultureEdit
Placochelys was featured in the Rite of Spring segment of the 1940 Disney musical movie, Fantasia. There, it is depicted as having a build somewhat similar to that of a tortoise; as well as this, it clambers out of the water to view a bloody fight between a Stegosaurus and a Tyrannosaurus.