Dinosaur With Spikes On Back: Armor Dinosaur Facts For Jurassic Fans | Kidadl


Dinosaur With Spikes On Back: Armor Dinosaur Facts For Jurassic Fans

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The armored dinosaur that made a spectacular appearance in 'Jurassic Park 3' was one of the last dinosaurs to ever exist.

It is scientifically known as Ankylosaurus magniventris meaning 'fused lizard'. It was believed to have been alive 66-68 million years ago!

Armored dinosaurs existed in the Late Cretaceous period, in western North America and were one of the last non-avian dinosaurs, meaning that they could not fly. This dinosaur's fossils were found majorly in places like Montana, Colorado, and Alberta (Canada). The Ankylosaurus had an estimated weight of 13,200 lb (5,987.4 kg). It was about 20 ft (6.1 m) long, 5.6 ft (1.7 m) tall and around 4.9 ft (1.5 m) wide.

It was a four-legged herbivore and was covered in two rows of spikes along its back and tail. These were embedded into its thick skin, supported by a horizontal line of spines along its sides. This dinosaur also had bony half-rings covering its neck! Similar armor is found on crocodiles and armadillos today.

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What dinosaur has spikes on its back?

From the Jurassic period to the Late Cretaceous period, there were a number of dinosaurs that had spikes along the back! All these dinosaurs belonged to a group called Thyreophora and were known as Thyreophorans.

Just like Ankylosaurs, many other dinosaurs like the Dacentrurus, Euoplocephalus, and Emausaurus also had spikes on their backs and tails. All dinosaurs in the Thyreophora group were herbivorous and had tank-like bodies, just like armored dinosaurs. Similar to the Ankylosaurus, these dinosaurs also had a tail club, tail spikes, spines on their sides, horns on their heads, and half-rings on their neck. They looked pretty closely related!

The Ankylosaurus species also had longer hind limbs and, after reviewing fossil specimens, it is believed that they had five toes on each leg just like other Ankylosaurs. According to the Museum of Natural History, all Ankylosaurs had a horny beak in front of their teeth to help them pierce through food items with ease.

Why did dinosaurs have spikes on them?

The spikes, plates, and horns that adorned the armor of the Ankylosaurus contribute to more than just making them look cool! The bony spikes along the armor of the Ankylosaurus' back protected it from the other bigger carnivorous predators. Despite being 20 ft (6.1 m) long, the Ankylosaurus was a plant-eating animal that needed a way to protect itself from meat-eating predators.

If any dinosaur tried to eat or hunt them, the bony spikes on these dinosaurs' bodies would pierce through the predator's skin, causing a lot of pain. It is believed that the spikes on these armored dinosaurs' backs were strong enough to break any predator's teeth or even a skull easily! The spines on the side of the body would ensure that no predator could attack them from their sides.

The Museum of Natural History recently came across a very unusual fossil. The fossil was of a spike that was fused to a rib bone and it was initially believed to have been one of the fossils of the plates on the back of a Stegosaurus. Later it was discovered that the specimen actually belonged to the oldest Ankylosaur and was one of the bony spikes embedded into its skin. The fossil is believed to have belonged to the oldest Ankylosaur to have ever existed!

The spikes protected the dinosaurs from other predator dinosaurs.

What dinosaur has a big ball on its tail?

Other than spikes, armored dinosaurs also had a large ball on the end of their tail known as the tail club or the tail knob. The tail club was made out of osteoderms! The tail on its own was at least 10 ft (3 m) long and it was sometimes used as part of a display to attract mates or to exercise dominance over a territory.

If these dinosaurs' bony spikes and spines on their bodies failed to protect them from harm, they would use the end of their tails to swipe their predator's legs or use it as a weapon to hurt their predators. They also had two large horns that protected the back of the skull. The tail club was strong enough to break bones and this would give the armored giant some time to run away from its predators. With strong spikes, piercing spines, and a tail club, the Ankylosaurus truly had unbreakable armor! Though the Ankylosaurus species was believed to be a slow animal, it could be fast on occasions.

With its spiked armor and firm tail club, Ankylosaurus could break the ankles of a T-rex. Just imagine the damage it could do to the other predators!

What dinosaur looks like an Ankylosaurus?

Dinosaurs from the Ankylosaurs species look very similar to the Stegosaurus. In fact, the two are often confused with each other. The Stegosaurus had a double row of kite-shaped plates on its back that looked like the bony spikes on the back of the armored dinosaur and also had a long tail with spikes similar to the Ankylosaurus! But unlike Ankylosaurs, the Stegosaurus did not use its plates to defend itself. It is believed that these plates helped the Stegosaurus regulate its body temperature instead. Another difference between the two is that the Ankylosaurus had a tail club, whereas the Stegosaurus had spikes along its tail. The Stegosaurus also did not have spines protecting the sides of its body.

The Gigantspinosaurus that was found in late Jurassic Asia also had a double row of spikes on its back and a spiked tail like the Ankylosaurus. The Gigantspinosaurus had two large hooked spines that shot out of its shoulder blades as opposed to the spines covering the sides of the Ankylosaurus armor. The Gigantspinosaurus was related to the Stegosaurus.

Another dinosaur that has similar characteristics to the Ankylosaurus is the Euoplocephalus. The Euoplocephalus is closely related to Ankylosaurus. Just like the Ankylosaurus, the Euoplocephalus is also a herbivore that existed in the late Jurassic period. The two dinosaurs also belonged to the same genus. Also, like the Ankylosaurus, the Euoplocephalus also had rows of spikes on its back and tail, a large tail club, spines on its body, and horns on the back of its head. One difference between the two was that the Euoplocephalus had a bone protecting its eyelids. Another difference was that the Ankylosaurus had grinding teeth whereas the Euoplocephalus had chewing teeth.

With its armor-like body covered in bony spikes embedding its thick skin, large horns on the back of its head, a head curving like a beak in the front of its teeth, and a strong and sturdy tail club covered in spikes, it can be said without a doubt that the Ankylosaurus was one of the coolest dinosaurs to exist!. Up until this date, there has not been a single full skeleton of the Ankylosaurus discovered. This is because they are believed to have inhabited places away from swamps and rivers meaning the possibility of their fossils being formed is not favorable.

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