- "A reptile. Five or six tons at least. Large super temperal, huge osteoderms on its back... it must be some kind of anapsid."
- ―Nick Cutter[src]
|Home time period||Late Permian period|
|Creature type||Anapsid Reptile|
|Deaths caused||Possibly two mercenaries|
|Appearances|| Episode 1.1|
Its genus name refers to large plates of bony scutes - osteoderms - set in the skin as a defense against predators. But the most unusual thing about them were their heavy skulls ornamented with strange knobs and ridges. It was of a very heavy build, almost rhinoceros-like.
Scutosaurus, meaning "Shield Reptile", was a genus of armoured pareiasaur that lived around 252-248 million years ago (MYA) in Russia in the late Permian period. It was a large anapsid reptile that, unlike most reptiles, held its legs underneath its body to support its great weight in a similar fashion to the dinosaurs.
They were herbivores, which were well adapted to the dry conditions which covered much of Pangea at that time. A social animal, they migrated in large groups. The leaf-shaped, multi-cusped teeth resemble those of iguanas and other reptilian herbivores. This dentition together with the deep capacious body, which would have housed an extensive digestive tract, made it a phenomenal plant-eater.Although initially described correctly as a pareiasaur, this species is from then on called a dinosaur throughout the episode in which it appears. Although based on the heavily armoured species called Scutosaurus karpinskiithat lived about 260 million years ago in Russia, the size of the Scutosaurus in the series is exaggerated for dramatic purposes. It's described as at least 5 or 6 tons in weight, about as big as an elephant. In fact the actual Scutosaurus was much smaller, no more than 3 meters in length.
Scutosaurus was a massively built reptile, up to 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) in length with bony armour and a number of short spikes decorating its skull. Despite its relatively small size, Scutosaurus was heavy and its short legs meant that it could not move at speed for long periods of time, which made it vulnerable to attack by large predators. To defend itself, Scutosaurus had a thick skeleton covered with powerful muscles, especially in the neck region. Underneath the skin were rows of hard bony plates scutes that acted like chain mail.
As a plant eater living in a semi-arid climate, Scutosaurus would have wandered widely to find fresh foliage to eat. It may have stuck closely to the riverbanks and floodplains where plant life would have been more abundant, straying further afield only during times of extreme drought. Its teeth were flattened and could grind away at the leaves and young branches before digesting them at length in its large gut.
With its large cheekbones, Scutosaurus may have been able to make a loud bellowing sound. It had excellent hearing and could have heard other animals bellowing from some distance away. These noises could have been used for mating or as warning signals.Anomaly into the Forest of Dean. It was later found by the Home Office team and, scared, it fled back through the Anomaly. Nick Cutter and Tom Ryan encountered herds of Scutosaurus in the Permian on the other side of the Anomaly.
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 a computer virus disabled the bunker's security system.Jenny Lewis, Connor Temple, Abby Maitland and Caroline Steel encountered one Scutosaurus and got it to trample over two of Leek's mercenaries by hitting it in the side with Jenny's high heel. 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.
- Scutosaurus is incorrectly referred to as a dinosaur in Primeval, 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.
- This is the first creature that Nick, Connor, Claudia and Stephen encounter.
- Scutosaurus is the first herbivorous creature to appear in Primeval.
- In real life, Scutosaurus was actually much smaller than it was in Primeval, at four feet tall and eight feet long.
|Series 1 Main Creatures|
|Series 2 Main Creatures|