Psephoderma Facts

The Psephoderma isn’t a dinosaur it was more like a prehistoric turtle. The texture of its external shell is the origin of the name psephoderma. The name psephoderma translates to “pebble-like skin,” even though there is a no skin specimen that had been found with the fossil of psephoderma, the shell found had a rough texture. Psephoderma lived in the Triassic time and was a small reptile which belonged to the order placodomia; whose group consisted of turtle-like organs, even though they are not related to turtles or tortoise. Psephoderma is believed to have been one of the last placodonts of the shelled type.

Its coexisting species were the placodonts cyamodus and was related to the placochelys. It might have originated from the placodus, and only a few breeds of the placodonts outlived the psephoderma.

Even though there was plenty of food for the psephoderma, it was not able to compete with bigger and superior predators of the Triassic waters, hence grew shells to guard themselves against such hunters. It was among the last placodonts exist on earth, and despite its adaptation tactics, it was not enough; hence, becoming extinct eventually.

Facts About Psephoderma

  • Psephoderma was carnivorous and ate shellfish, and its mouth was shaped like a beak that could pick out shellfish from rocks and crushed them with back teeth in the mouth as it had no front teeth.
  • They had two body shells, and it was very much similar like the cyamodus.
  • Psephoderma lived in small water bodies.
  • It was about three meters long, and a mass of 5 to 10 kilograms and its unique feature was that it had an exoskeleton which had two fin cover, unlike other placodonts who had one.
  • It had small limbs, but it’s behind legs were longer than the front legs.
  • It had a singular appearance with a tiny head and a long snout.
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What did they eat?

Scientists can assume from its rounded teeth that the Psephodermas’ diet consisted of a lot of shellfish


The Psephoderma was believed to live in the seas around Southern Europe between 223 and 209 million years ago (Triassic period) and some scientist belive it lived in shallow water.

Physical Features/Characteristics

The Psephoderma belonged to the placodont group. In this group, there were many other turtles-like reptiles — each of them with their own distinctive, unique body shape. It weighed up to 400lbs and was 5 feet in length at most. Like I said turtle-like, this would include a shell on its back, another over its hips, and a beak.


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