Paleo Profile: The Shield Fortress
One of the stumbling blocks in writing about prehistory is the lack of familiar names for many of the strange creatures that came before us. Or, at least, there’s a lack of patience in sounding out anything that’s not a dinosaur. To totally bastardize a quote from Mayor Vaughn in JAWS, “You yell ‘pseudosuchian’, everybody says ‘Huh? What?’ You yell ‘dinosaur’, we’ve got schoolchildren swarming the exhibit hall.”
But not every obscure group suffers from getting lost in translation. One family of ancient oddities has gained a title that playfully sums up what they were by mashing up two more familiar critters. I’m talking about the armadillodiles.
Paleontologists know these reptiles as aetosaurs. They were herbivores and omnivores that thrived