The body of the ankylosaurus allowed the dinosaur to better protect itself from predators. It possessed a huge body of armor that was supported by four short legs. Interestingly, the back legs were larger than the front legs that accompanied its short neck, wide skull, and tiny brain. In this article, you will learn more about the armored dinosaur.
Physical Features of the Ankylosaurus
The ankylosaurus measured around 25 to 35 feet long, six feet wide and four wide tall. It weighed around 3 to 4 tons. Thick plates that were oval shaped were embedded into the leathery skin of the ankylosaurus. The creature possessed two rows of spikes that decorated the length of his body. It also had large horns that acted as protection for the back of its head. At the end of its body, a club-like tail was found, which proved very resourceful for its protection.
Shielding its eyes from attack, there were even bony plates on the dinosaur. The only thing that wasn’t plated on the ankylosaurus was the underside of its belly. The only way to wound the creature was by flipping it over. The dinosaur belonged to the Phylum Chordata, which meant that it had a hollow nerve chord that ended at the brain. Other characteristics of this species of dinosaur included socket-set teeth, and triangular-shaped heads.
The Ankylosaurus in History
The ankylosaurus was the last of the ankylosaurids (better known as the armored dinosaurs) to evolve. This species was also the largest of its kind. The creature lived in the late Cretaceous Period, which was dated about 70 to 65 million years ago. A dinosaur’s level of intelligence was measured by the size of its brain in relation to its body. This meant that the ankylosaurus was not too bright because its brain was very small.
The Diet of the Ankylosaurus
The ankylosaurus was extremely large and heavy in size, yet it was an herbivore and only ate plants. It also needed to eat a great deal of low-lying plant material in order to accommodate its gut. Researchers believe that the ankylosaurus possessed a fermentation compartment that helped it digest the tough plant material that it ate.
Ankylosaurus Location of Fossils
The fossils of the ankylosaurus have been located in the western part of the United States, especially in Montana and Alberta, Canada. Some of the specimens that researchers have been able to investigate include two ankylosaurus skulls and three partial skeletons (which included armor and a tail club). The lucky person to discover these specimens was Barnum Brown in 1908. Tracks associated with the dinosaur species have been found close to Sucre, Bolivia, South America.