Palaeosaniwa is an extinct species of carnivorous lizard from the late Cretaceous of North America. The name, given by Charles Whitney Gilmore in 1928, means "ancient Saniwa from Canada", Saniwa being an extinct genus of monitor lizards.
Measuring around 3–3.5 m (9.8–11.5 ft) in length, it is among the largest terrestrial lizards known from the Mesozoic period (though Asprosaurus may compete with it in size).
Palaeosaniwa's teeth were sharp and flattened like blades, with small serrations along the edges, indicating it was a carnivore. Palaeosaniwa fed on small vertebrates, including mammals, other reptiles, and small dinosaurs as well as the young of larger species. Palaeosaniwa itself was likely prey to the predatory dinosaurs it shared its habitat with.
Palaeosaniwa is a member of Platynota, a group that includes the monitor lizards (Varanidae) and Gila monsters (Helodermatidae) which could mean it might have had venom similar to that of a Komodo dragon or Gila monster. Originally, it was thought to be a member of the Varanidae, but has also been interpreted as a relative of the Helodermatidae. The most recent analysis places Palaeosaniwa outside of either Varanidae or Helodermatidae, as a stem member of the Varanoidea.
Palaeosaniwa is one threat to the player while they are young, as its diet included young or small dinosaurs. It is portrayed looking similar to a Gila monster, with thick, warty scales and a black and bright orange color palette.
|Animals of Saurian|
|Playable: Ankylosaurus • Anzu • Dakotaraptor • Pachycephalosaurus • Triceratops • Tyrannosaurus
Non-playable: Acheroraptor (originally playable) • Alvarezsaur • Anatosaurus • Axestemys • Basilemys • Bone Butte Bird • Borealosuchus • Brachychampsa • Brodavis • Casterolimulus • Chamops • Champsosaurus • Denversaurus • Didelphodon • Habrosaurus • Meniscoessus • Mosasaurus • Ornithomimid • Quetzalcoatlus • Palaeosaniwa • Pectinodon • Thescelosaurus • Thoracosaurus • Toxochelys