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Scutosaurus

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Nick: "It's a reptile. Five or six tons at least. Large supratemporal bosses, huge osteoderms on its back... it must be some kind of anapsid!"
Abby: "A tortoise?!"
Nick Cutter and Abby Maitland describe the Scutosaurus[src]


Scutosaurus was a genus of armoured pareiasaur from the Permian period, loosely related to the turtles and tortoises. 

Characteristics

Scutosaurus were massively built pareiasaurs which were several metres in length, and possessed very large osteoderms on their backs, for which they were named. They were also herbivorous and normally passive animals.

Scutosaurus were social creatures which lived in large herds in the Permian, although some were known to stray and become loners. Scutosaurus were shown to be quite nervous and suspicious around other animals such as humans, especially when said animals were moving quickly or outside of their field of vision. However, instead of attacking, Scutosaurus would instead flee in search of safety. (Episode 1.1)

1x1 Scutosaurus 19

A Scutosaurus in the Forest of Dean. (Episode 1.1)

It was also possible to provoke Scutosaurus into stampeding forward and stamping on anything in their way, through a sharp blow to the side of the leg, in a similar manner to elephants. (Episode 2.6)

Incursions and encounters

Episode 1.1

A Scutosaurus came through an Anomaly into the Forest of Dean in the present. It was later found by the Home Office team, and was initially nervous and suspicious of them but later calmed down. The team later deliberately frightened the creature off with torches, and the Scutosaurus then fled back through the Anomaly.

Scuto-1.1-1

A herd of Scutosaurus in the Permian. (Episode 1.1)

In the Permian, Nick Cutter saw a large herd of Scutosaurus in the desert landscape.

Episode 1.6

Nick and Helen Cutter saw herds of Scutosaurus in the distance in the Permian during the former two's mission to find an Anomaly in the Permian.

Episode 2.6/2.7

Two Scutosaurus were captured by Oliver Leek and kept captive in his Creature Prison as part of his army of creatures. They escaped with the other creatures when Connor Temple's computer virus disabled the bunker's security system, and ran amok in the bunker. Jenny Lewis, Connor Temple, Abby Maitland and Caroline Steel encountered one Scutosaurus and got it to trample over two of Leek's attacking mercenaries by hitting it in the side with Jenny's high heel.

2x7 Scutosaurus 4

A Scutosaurus running free in Leek's bunker. (Episode 2.7)

The Scutosaurus presumably returned to the cage room with the other creatures when they heard the siren for food, and were presumably killed there when the creatures were locked in and turned on each other.

Other references

Episode 1.1

Scutosaurus was on Connor Temple's database.

Real life

Scutosaurus (name meaning "Shield Reptile") was a large, heavily-built anapsid reptile and genus of armour-covered pareiasaur, with protective bony armour and spikes decorating its skull. It lived from 254 to 252 million years ago, during the Permian period, in Russia, in a semi-arid environment. Scutosaurus was relatively small (at a maximum length of three metres) but heavily-built, and it was armoured against predators by scutes under its skin and aided by powerful bones and muscles, but was unable to move fast for long lengths of time due to its short legs and heavy build. Scutosaurus likely lived alone or in small herds due to harsh conditions, and would have probably wandered but stuck close to water sources in its semi-desert Permian environment. Scutosaurus was one of the major prey animals of Gorgonopsids.

Trivia

  • Scutosaurus is incorrectly referred to as a dinosaur in Episode 1.1, even by people who should know better. However, they were probably just speaking informally.
  • Stock footage of a Scutosaurus was used for a Stegosaurus in Series 4 Prequel Webisodes along with Gorgonopsid and Embolotherium.
  • Scutosaurus was the first creature that Nick, Connor, Claudia and Stephen encounter.
  • In real life, Scutosaurus was actually much smaller than it was in Primeval, at four feet tall and eight feet long.
  • Scutosaurus is, in promotionals, a lighter gray than in the series.

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