Science, Tech, Math › Animals & Nature Scutellosaurus Share Flipboard Email Print Scutellosaurus (H. Kyoht Luterman). Animals & Nature Dinosaurs Herbivores Basics Paleontologists Carnivores Dinosaurs & Birds Marine Reptiles Prehistoric Mammals Amphibians Birds Habitat Profiles Mammals Reptiles Wildlife Conservation Insects Marine Life Forestry Evolution View More By Bob Strauss Science Writer B.S., Cornell University Bob Strauss is a science writer and the author of several books, including "The Big Book of What, How and Why" and "A Field Guide to the Dinosaurs of North America." our editorial process Bob Strauss Updated March 06, 2017 Name: Scutellosaurus (Greek for "little shield lizard"); pronounced SKOO-tell-oh-SORE-us Habitat: Woodlands of southern North America Historical Period: Early Jurassic (200-195 million years ago) Size and Weight: About four feet long and 25 pounds Diet: Plants Distinguishing Characteristics: Small size; long tail; bony studs on back About Scutellosaurus One of the persistent themes of evolution is that large, imposing creatures descend from small, mouselike progenitors. Although no one would think of comparing Scutellosaurus to a mouse (it weighed about 25 pounds, for instance, and was covered with bony spikes), this dinosaur was certainly rodent-sized compared to its multi-ton armored descendants of the late Cretaceous period, such as Ankylosaurus and Euoplocephalus. Although its hind limbs were longer than its forelimbs, paleontologists believe Scutellosaurus was ambidextrous, posture-wise: it probably stayed on all fours while eating, but was capable of breaking into a two-legged gait when escaping predators. Like other early dinosaurs, Scutellosaurus was anatomically very similar to the prosauropods and small theropods that roamed the earth during the late Triassic and early Jurassic periods.