A restoration of Desmatosuchus spurensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Aetosauria
Family: Stagonolepididae
Subfamily: Desmatosuchinae
Genus: Desmatosuchus
Case, 1920
Type species
Desmatosuchus spurensis
Case, 1921
Referred species
  • Desmatosuchus smalli
    (Parker, 2005)
  • Desmatosuchus spurensis
    (Case, 1921)
  • Desmatosuchus chamaensis
  • Episcoposaurus haplocerus Cope, 1892

Desmatosuchus (dez-MAT-oh-SUE-kuss) was a herbivorous Pseudosuchian closely related to modern-day crocodiles.


It's heavily armoured, and wasn't very fast. It grew up from 3 to 4.5 meters long. It lived in prehistoric North America during the Late Triassic Period (200 mya) while the Earth was one large supercontinent called Pangaea.


Desmatosuchus shows a resemblance to the ankylosaurid dinosaurs such as Ankylosaurus, but it isn't very related to them, and is a much older species.

Desmato 04.jpg

It was heavily armoured, with even its under-belly protected. Not even ankylosaurs had that. It had a long snout made for digging through the ground and pulling up roots and shrubs. It had a plated, whip-like tail that was designed to whip predators and keep them away. It's back was completely covered in armor plating, and not even the large Phytosaur Rutiodon could have bitten through it. The plates were a second defense if a predator could even get past its 18 inches (45 centimeters.) shoulder spikes. It lived in either forested areas or desert land, and lived alongside herbivores like Placerias and Plateosaurus, predators like Coelophysis, Rutiodon, and Postosuchus, and also small protomammals like Megazostrodon.

In the Media

  • Desmatosuchus made a minor appearance in The Dinosaurs episode 3 Nature of the Beasts.
  • It also starred in Animal Armageddon, where it shows how it became extinct during the Triassic Extinction and was overwhelmed by Triassic dinosaurs called Staurikosaurus.






When Dinosaurs Roamed America

Animal Armageddon

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