Pinacosaurus (Pinacosaurus grangeri), which means plank lizard, was one of the first genera of Ankylosaurid thyreophoran dinosaurs, and belonged to the order Ornithischia that lived during the Late Cretaceous period more than 75 million years ago. During the search for evidence of early man, the team sent from the American Museum of Natural History to expedite in Mongolia instead found dinosaur skeletons and eggs.
Pinacosaurus grangeri was found in the year 1923 and was named in the year 1933, the fossils which were discovered were mostly from dry desert regions buried under sand dune deposits. The diet of this plank lizard is still unknown but several other herbivorous animals that were found from the same deposit it was assumed that these species were a group of plant-eating herbivores. Due to the recent discovery of the five juvenile skeletons which were found huddled together after getting caught by a sand storm, it was assumed that these species use to live in small groups or herds. Pinacasaurus has an unusual skull as the whole surface of the skull is protected by the bone plates, these bone plates converted only part of their skull.
Pinacosaura was a medium-sized dinosaur who looked similar to the other member of the suborder Ankylosauria, their neck was covered by a collar of armor plates and similar plates also covered their body and tail with a bone tail club. Along with this armored type species skeletons, a few unknown large teeth were also discovered and the only predatory dinosaur that shared their habitat was Velociraptor.
This medium-sized Ankylosauria is pronounced as 'Pin-uh-kuh-sawr-us'.
It is one of the medium-sized ankylosaurid thyreophoran dinosaurs that belonged to the order Ornithischia and lived during the late cretaceous from the site of Djadokhta Formation, Flaming Cliffs of Shabarakh Usu. Numerous specimens of this species have been discovered making them the best known worldwide or Asain ankylosaur.
Pinacosaurus were considered to belong to the Santonian-Campanian stage of the uppermost layers of the late cretaceous period around 70-86 million years ago.
Pinacosaurus became extinct during the late cretaceous period around 86 million years ago.
The remains of the P. grangeri were discovered from the late cretaceous, dating from Campanian from the site of Djadokhta Formation, Flaming Cliffs of Shabarakh Usu.
Very less is known about the exact habitat of this species, though the specimen which was found from the Djadokhta Formation, Flaming Cliffs of Shabarakh Usu, is a dry desert region buried under sand dune deposits.
It is believed that this genus of ankylosaurid thyreophoran dinosaurs from Mongolia and China lived together in small groups or herds, as the skeletons that were found from the Djadokhta Formation, Flaming Cliffs of Shabarakh Usu, and the recent discovery of the similar age, five juvenile bundled together, traped and buried indicating a group living together.
The exact lifespan of this dinosaur is unknown to the world as they went extinct from the face of the earth millions of years ago. The exact Bonitasaura extinction date is still unknown.
Due to the extinction of the Pinacosaurus and lack of information about their reproduction, it is difficult to know the details of their mating process, but it is believed that the specimen lays eggs like most other dinosaurs with regards to the fossil remains discoveries.
Pinacosaurus was a medium-sized, light-built ankylosaurid thyreophoran dinosaur that lived during the late cretaceous period in Mongolia and China. It had a flat and low-suspended body with strong feet but not as bulky built as in some other related Ankylosaurinae. The name Pinacasaurus derives from the bone tiles which protected their head, and the nostrils were formed as small depressions in between other small holes which is yet to be known. Their skull consists of small teeth which allowed them to chew low-growing plants. The back, neck, and tail of these species were also protected by armored osteoderms. The armored tail club helped these dinosaurs to protect themselves against their predators.
In the year 2014, Victoria Megan Arbour a vertebrate paleontologist established a few distinguishing details about this dinosaur. The upper snout armor of the P grangeri is a fused mass it does not consist of distinct tiles. An adult P. grangeri has a longer and wider skull when compared to the juvenile skulls and this feature is shared with their other related dinosaurs such as Shamosaurus and Gobisaurus. This Thyreophora dinosaur does not possess the extra opening in their nostril with a pointing caputegula projecting out on their prefrontal.
The first holotype skeleton which was found from the site of Djadokhta Formation, Flaming Cliffs of Shabarakh Usu, consisted of a partially crushed skull, a complete skull, dermal bones, first two neck vertebrae, and lower jaws with a total length of 196.8 in (500 cm).
Due to the lack of data, the communication process of the Pinacosaurus is still unknown. Though, it is known that sauropods were shy and conservative creatures.
Pinacosaurus was one among the medium-size genus of ankylosaurid thyreophoran dinosaurs that were found from the site of Djadokhta Formation, Flaming Cliffs of Shabarakh Usu and they obtain a total body length of 196.8 in (5 m) and the estimated Pinacosaurus height was 17.7 in (0.45 m).
Due to the lack of data, it is unfeasible to point out the accurate moving speed of the Pinacosaurus. Though it is known that these species were large and heavy who walked on all four legs could not move fast they were slow grazers.
These ankylosaurid thyreophoran dinosaurs, who hailed from Mongolia and China, were medium in size and could have assumed a total weight of 4409.2 lb (2,000 kg).
No specific name has been assigned or allotted to either sex of this genus.
A baby Pinacosaurus is called a baby dinosaur as there is no specific name assigned to them.
Pinacosaurus is believed to be herbivorous and feed on the leaves from the dry region plant because the teeth of this species were fairly small. P grangeri and other related ankylosaurs relied heavily on their muscular tongue and hypobranchial.
Due to the lack of data, it is impossible to say whether this animal was an aggressive or a peaceful creature. Though with their tail club it was easy for them to defend themselves from their predators.
Pinacosaurus is one of the well-known family members of the Ankylosauridae and suborder Ankylosauria across the globe that have been discovered. From other parts of Mongolia, Alagteeg formation an entire bonebed of juvenile P grangeri was discovered. The discoveries of juveniles were found in a resting position on their bellies with the legs tucked in under the sand along with their feet, they were preserved while laying on their backs.
Many expeditions were sent in search of these dinosaurs and during the years 1969 and 1970, the Soviet-Mongolian expeditions found thirty new holotype skeletons were found. During the Mongolian-Japanese expeditions between the year, 1993-1998, 30 more specimens were discovered, and between the years 2001-2006 the Canadian expeditions again discovered forty new specimens. All these specimens mostly consist of a skull with cervical half-rings, a partial skull, and a nearly complete skeleton.
The general name of the Pinacosaurus is derived from a Greek word, which means plank with reference to their small rectangular scutes that covered their head. The scientific name Pinacosaurus grangeri honored Walter W. Granger, a paleontologist who accompanied in the 1923 expedition in Djadokhta Formation, Flaming Cliffs of Shabarakh Usu.
During the '20s, the American Museum of Natural History promoted many expeditions to the Gobi Desert in Mongolia for the search of traces for early man and among many paleontological findings from the site of Djadokhta Formation, Flaming Cliffs of Shabarakh Usu, in the year 1923 the first specimen of Pinacasaurus was found by Walter W. Granger. Later on in the year 1933, Charles Whitney Gilmore described the details of the specimen and gave them the name Pinacosaurus grangeri.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Mymoorapelta facts, or Palaeoscincus facts for kids.
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Image one by Kabacchi.
Image two by Talented Traveller.