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The Admirable Ankylosaurus

Prehistoric Creature of the Week
The+Admirable+Ankylosaurus

Ankylosaurus Magniventris is an armored ornithischian that lived up to 70 million years ago during the late Cretaceous period in North America.  Ankylosaurus weighed up to four tons and grew up to 33 feet long. Ankylosaurus belonged to a group called Ankylosauria, which consisted of other four-legged, armored herbivores.

Ankylosaurus had a flat, square shaped head that was wider than it was long. Its body was short with large legs to support its weight, and it had a thick, armored back consisting of bony plates to protect itself. Ankylosaurus also had a heavily armored skull, but its most prominent feature is its thick, club-like tail. The tail was used in self defense, and probably swung around like a club in order to fend off predators.

Although Ankylosaurus is the most well known member of the Ankylosauria group, it’s not the most known about. Scientists have yet to find a complete Ankylosaurus skeleton, but they’ve found enough bones to determine what it looks like. Other members of the Ankylosauria groups such as Zuul (Known as the Destroyer of Shins), has had many more bones discovered to identify it with.

The first Ankylosaurus bones were found back in 1906 in the Hell Creek Formation in Montana. The bones were discovered by a group led by Barnum Brown who discovered the Tyrannosaurus Rex a few years prior.  The fossils found weren’t complete and it wasn’t till years later that the iconic tail was discovered. Barnum and his team found several armor pieces but separated them from the rest of the skeleton. To this day no one is quite sure how Ankylosaurus’ back armor should be positioned.

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Sources:

https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/dino-directory/ankylosaurus.html 

https://www.britannica.com/animal/dinosauromorph 

Picture from: ThoughtCo

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