Monte Carlo simulations are used to study two-dimensional hard rod fluids consisting of spherocylinders confined to lie in a plane. The phase behavior is mapped out as a function of the aspect ratio (L/D) of the particles, from the hard disc limit at one extreme (L/D = 0) to the thin hard needle limit at the other (L/D = ¥). For long rods, a 2D nematic phase is observed at high density in which the orientational correlation functions decay algebraically, indicating that the phase does not possess true long range orientational order. The simulation data indicate that the transition from this phase to the low density isotropic phase is continuous, via a Kosterlitz-Thouless disclination unbinding type mechanism, rather than first order. For short rods the nematic phase disappears so that, on expansion, the solid phase undergoes a first order transition directly to an isotropic phase. Although the latter phase is globally isotropic, we find evidence for strong local positional and orientational correlations between the particles. Where possible, the simulation results are compared and contrasted to experimental,