Plated Dinosaurs – Armored Ankylosaurs

What is a Plated Dinosaur?

Ankylosaurus was indeed a heavily armored dinosaur with a large club-like protrusion at the end of its tail that was often compared to an army tank or bus. Ankylosaurus means “fused lizard” in Greek, and it got that name since the dinosaur’s skull and other bones were fused, making it extremely tough.

Its massive body was protected by bony armor. This was made up of transverse bands of horn-covered plates with raised keels that ran from the neck to the end of the long, tapering tail. The plates were integrated in the skin to form a strong but flexible covering that covered the entire back of the animal. A row of sharp spikes protruding sideways from each flank impeded sideways strikes.

Armored Ankylosaurs

Ankylosaurus, estimated to be up to nine meters and weighing up to six metric tons (the armor alone would have weighed a metric ton), was found in Montana, US, in 1908. This partial skeleton had many large, smooth bone plates known as “osteoderms,” as well as bony knobs between the plates and four large horns at the back of its skull. However, because the original specimen was lacking the tail, it was only later discovered that Ankylosaurus had a heavy clubbed tail. Wielding the tail could have generated tremendous force, injuring predators as large as T. rex.

Kentrosaurus

Living around 150 million years ago in Africa, Kentrosaurus is often considered to have been the close cousin of Stegosaurus.

Like Stegosaurus, Kentrosaurus had plates attached to its back. However, unlike stegosaurus, these plates gradually became narrower as they ran down its body, until they were more like spikes.
Like other members of the stegosauridae, or plated dinosaur group, Kentrosaurus had a very small brain.

  • What is this dinosaur’s name? Kentrosaurus
  • How do I pronounce it? Ken-troe-sore-uss
  • What does its name mean? Spiked Reptile
  • How long was this dinosaur? 17.00 feet, 5.00 meters
  • How heavy was this dinosaur? 4000.00 pounds
  • What class was this dinosaur assigned to? Stegosauridae
  • What did this dinosaur eat? Plants
  • How many years ago did this dinosaur live? 150000000 Years Ago
  • Where did this dinosaur live? Africa, Tanzania
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Stegosaurus

One of the most famous of all the dinosaurs, Stegosaurus lived around 150 million years ago. Because of its tiny head and brain, many consider Stegosaurus and other plated dinosaurs to have been the least intelligent of all the dinosaurs.

Stegosaurus was the largest of the Stegosauridae or plated dinosaurs. It was just a little larger than a modern day elephant, and had a line of bony plates running down its backs. These plates were hallow, and soft. For this reason, they were probably not used as protection. If not for protection, than why did Stegosaurus have plates?

Scientists believe that the hallow plates were used to help the animal regulate or control its temperature. Blood could flow into the bony plates, and either cool down, or heat up. This is one way that such a large cold-blooded animal could survive. The end of Stegosaurus’ tail had four long sharp spikes, that were no doubt used to protect itself against large meat-eaters.

  • What is this dinosaur’s name? Stegosaurus
  • How do I pronounce it? Steg-owe-sore-uss
  • What does its name mean? Roofed Reptile
  • How long was this dinosaur? 29.50 feet, 9.00 meters
  • How heavy was this dinosaur? 6000.00 pounds
  • What class was this dinosaur assigned to? Stegosauridae
  • What did this dinosaur eat? Plants
  • How many years ago did this dinosaur live? 150,000,000 Years Ago
  • In what period did this dinosaur live? Late Jurassic
  • Where did this dinosaur live? Colorado, North America

Wuerhosaurus

Wuerhosaurus roamed the Earth during the Early Cretaceous Period around 135 million years ago. This large stegosauridae or plated dinosaur is one of the last plated dinosaurs to have survived.
Its plates were shorter, and less pentagon-shaped than those of other plated dinosaurs. Notice that Wuerhosaurus” back legs are much longer than its front legs are. It is believed that this allowed the animal to easily feed on low-lying vegetation.

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  • What is this dinosaur’s name? Wuerhosaurus
  • How do I pronounce it? Woo-air-hoe-sore-uss
  • What does its name mean? Lizard of Wuerho
  • How long was this dinosaur? 25.00 feet, 8.00 meters
  • How heavy was this dinosaur? 4000.00 pounds
  • What class was this dinosaur assigned to? Stegosauridae
  • What did this dinosaur eat? plants
  • How many years ago did this dinosaur live? 135,000,000 Years Ago
  • In what period did this dinosaur live? Early Cretaceous
  • Where did this dinosaur live? Asia, China, Mongolia

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