New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

 

Trilophosaurus


Trilophosaurus jacobsi
Early archosaur
Pronunciation: tri-low-fo-SORE-us JAY-cubs-eye
Meaning: From Greek trion, "three," lophos, "crest" and sauros, "reptile"
Size: 5.5 feet/1.7 meters long
Diet: Meat Eater
Age: Late Triassic (225-210 million years ago)
Specimen Number: NMMNH P-41400
Location: Borden County, Texas
Image By: David Baccadutre
Date: Spring 2008

The Triassic reptile Trilophosaurus looks very much like a modern iguana, but has a completely different ancestry. The similarities between Trilophosaurus and iguanas are an example of convergent evolution. Their shared characteristics derive from both organisms evolving to survive in similar enviroments, not from shared ancestry. Trilophosaurus became extinct during the Triassic.

See a reconstruction of Trilophosaurus here.