Poekilopleuron (Varied rib)
Jacques Amand Eudes-Deslongchamps - 1838
Estimated 6-8 meters long
P. bucklandii (type)
Late Jurassic, 165 million years ago
Poekilopleuron, meaning “varied rib,” was a genus of theropod dinosaur that lived during the Late Jurassic period, around 165 million years ago. The name Poekilopleuron refers to the unusual shape of its rib bones, which are very different from those of other theropods.
Poekilopleuron is known from only a few fossils, including a partial skeleton found in France. It was a medium-sized predator, estimated to have been about 6 to 8 meters (20 to 26 feet) in length and weighing around 500 to 1,000 kilograms (1,100 to 2,200 pounds).
One interesting feature of Poekilopleuron is its unusual teeth. Unlike most theropods, which have pointed and serrated teeth, Poekilopleuron had compressed, blade-like teeth that were curved backward. This suggests that it may have been specialized for cutting through tough, fibrous plant material.
Like other theropods, Poekilopleuron was bipedal, meaning it walked on two legs. It had long, powerful hind legs and a long, muscular tail that helped it balance and maneuver. Its arms were small and ended in sharp claws, which it likely used to grab and hold onto prey.
While not as well-known as some other dinosaurs, Poekilopleuron provides important insights into the diversity of theropod dinosaurs during the Jurassic period. Its unusual teeth and rib bones suggest that it may have had a unique ecological niche, perhaps specializing in a type of food that other theropods did not eat.