Rhoetosaurus (Rhoetos lizard)
Heber Longman – 1926
Estimated 18-20 meters long
R. brownei (type)
Australia, Queensland – Hutton Sandstone Formation
Mid Jurassic, 175 million years ago
Rhoetosaurus is a genus of sauropod dinosaur that lived during the Middle Jurassic period, approximately 175 million years ago. Its name derives from Rhoetus, a giant from Greek mythology, and the Greek word “sauros” meaning lizard, giving it the name “Rhoetos lizard”.
Rhoetosaurus was a large animal, estimated to have reached lengths of up to 18-20 meters (60-65 feet) and weighed around 20-30 metric tons. It had a long neck and tail, and four sturdy legs. Rhoetosaurus was a plant-eater, using its peg-like teeth to grind up tough vegetation.
Fossils of Rhoetosaurus have been found in eastern Australia, where it was one of the largest animals in the ecosystem. It is thought to have lived in river valleys and floodplains, where it could find ample food and water.
Despite its size, Rhoetosaurus was not the largest sauropod of its time. It was, however, an important part of the Middle Jurassic ecosystem in Australia, along with other dinosaurs such as the carnivorous theropod Australovenator and the herbivorous ornithopod Leaellynasaura.
As with many extinct animals, much remains unknown about Rhoetosaurus, but ongoing scientific research and discoveries continue to provide new insights into the life and behavior of these ancient giants, and help us to better understand the history of life on Earth.