Fun Ankylosaurus Facts For Kids

Akinwalere Olaleye
Jan 19, 2023 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on Oct 31, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Interesting Ankylosaurus facts include that they were herbivores.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.4 Min

Ankylosaurus magniventris was a heavily armored dinosaur that possessed bony plates and a large protrusion at the tails, making it more of a clubbed tail. Ankylosaurus means 'fused lizard' in Greek and was awarded with the name owing to its armor-like boney skin and the fusion of its skull with the rest of its body.

The dinosaur, therefore, looked extremely rugged. The Ankylosaurus was powered by an unusually small brain, practically the size of a walnut.

Ankylosaurus, therefore, has similarities with its close cousin Stegosaurus, the most dim-witted dinos of all times!

When fully developed, an adult bony Ankylosaurus weighed as much as 10,582.2-17,637 lb (4,800-8,000 kg). Ankylosaurus magniventris hail from the Late Cretaceous period, about 65.5 million to 66.8 million years ago and were discovered in the western United States and Alberta, Canada.

For more relatable content, check out these Mymoorapelta facts and Palaeoscincus facts for kids.

Ankylosaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Ankylosaurus'?

The name of this therizinosaur theropod dinosaur with bony plates and clubbed tail, Ankylosaurus, is pronounced 'ANK-ill-oh-SORE-us' or 'ank-EYE-low-SORE-us'.

What type of dinosaur was an Ankylosaurus?

The Ankylosaurus magniventris was part of a group of dinosaurs known as Thyreophorans (armored dinosaurs). They were thick and soft-bellied primarily and couldn't even be tipped over by a T. rex, that weighed almost twice as much as the Ankylosaurus.

In which geological period did the Ankylosaurus roam the Earth?

From the remains of the family of this Ankylosaurus, it is estimated that these dinosaurs lived during Maastrichtian of the Cretaceous period, approximately 90 million years ago.

When did the Ankylosaurus become extinct?

According to their fossil discovery, it has been approximated that the last recorded appearance of these Ankylosaurus sauropods was around 66 mya in the natural history of the Maastrichtian Cretaceous period. Therefore, the timescale precisely sums up the time between the Campanian Age to 66 million years ago.

Where did Ankylosaurus live?

According to the discovery of the Ankylosaurus (genus Ankylosaurus) fossils, the club-tailed species have been found in Canada, Alberta-Horseshoe Canyon Formation, Scollard Formation, USA, Montana-Hell Creek Formation, New Mexico-Kirtland Formation, Wyoming-Ferris Formation, Lance Formation region in the world, where the armored body remains have been discovered.

What was the Ankylosaurus' habitat?

The Ankylosaurus dinosaur had a life in a terrestrial habitat in the southern US and Mexico regions. According to research on dinosaur species, historic rivers and streams are thought to be the preferred regions for dinosaurs.

The Ankylosaurus resided upon natural forested floodplains and densely vegetated swamps, seasides, wooded area segments, and lakes. The Ankylosaurus wildlife areas had resources to serve their more than usual appetite in their lifetime.

Who did Ankylosaurus live with?

The Ankylosaurus specimen has been found from the Middle to Late Cretaceous period with other dinosaur species like Oviraptor, Segnosaurus, Khaan, and Tarbosaurus.

How long did an Ankylosaurus live?

Ankylosaurus dinosaurs are believed to have lived from the Middle to the Late Cretaceous period, approximately from the Campanian Age to 66 million years ago.

How did they reproduce?

Based on the natural armored group features, the reproduction of this dinosaur is believed to have been oviparous. This means that such an animal is believed to reproduce by laying eggs.

Ankylosaurus Fun Facts

What did the Ankylosaurus look like?

The Ankylosaurus had armor plates, even the eyelids were armored! From the fossils of the Ankylosaurus that have been discovered, we can tell that they had a considerable weight, a huge tail that they swung, spikes, and soft bellies.

Osteoderms ran throughout the top and were so massive that they had often been the only high-quality preserved components of the animal. Particularly massive plates and panels protected the shoulder and neck with smaller portions inside the center to permit movement.

Four massive horns protruded from the bottom of the armored skull, possibly to save these herbivorous dinosaurs from massive predators.

The skeleton at the tail lobe forming the club tail consisted of several massive osteoderms fused with the terminal vertebrae. In the beginning, the tails were mainly meant for protection when in opposition with predators.

The notably exquisite feature of Ankylosaurus is the brown, tough, almost knobby armor masking its head, neck, back, and tail. These plates covered quite a lot of the body besides its smooth underbelly.

This armor was derived from densely packed osteoderms, or 'scutes' deeply embedded plates of bone (which were not related to the relaxation of Ankylosaurus' skeleton) and included a thick layer of keratin, the same protein that is contained in human hair and rhinoceros horns.

The notably exquisite feature of Ankylosaurus is the brown

How many bones did an Ankylosaurus have?

The resources found suggest that this dinosaur possessed a skull,‭ ‬teeth,‭ ‬osteoderms,‭ ‬vertebrae,‭ ‬limb bones,‭ ‬ribs,‭ ‬tail club,‭ ‬all from several fossil locations.‭

How did they communicate?

It is not known exactly how the Ankylosaurus communicated with each other or with dinosaurs of other species.

But Philip J. Senter, an American paleontologist known for his research on the paleobiology of dinosaurs, when reviewing the sounds of prehistoric land animals believed that dinosaurs used to communicate by hissing and clapping, polishing the jaws against the upper jaw, rubbing scales against each other, and using environmental materials such as spray against water.

Dinosaurs are also believed to have communicated vocally and visually. These two types of communication were most commonly used during the defensive posture, courtship, and territorial fighting.

How big was the Ankylosaurus?

The exact measurements regarding an Ankylosaurus' height and length are unknown. However, an Ankylosaurus' size can be estimated from the largest known remains of a 25 in (63.5 cm) long skull.

From this, we can predict that an Ankylosaurus was at least 20.5 ft (6.2 m) in length. The exact details are uncertain, but they nearly had a size equal to 20.5 ft (6.2 m) long and 5.6 ft (1.7 m) tall at the hips.

How fast could an Ankylosaurus move?

Although not a predator, they can be considered actively mobile when in need. The Ankylosaurus was quadrupedal, meaning it could walk on four legs.

The top speed of an Ankylosaurus is estimated only to have been up to 6 mph (9.7 kph) because it was very heavy in weight. As a rule, slow, armored, plant-munching, club-tailed animals had a main defensive strategy of passivity consisting of flopping down on the ground and lying motionless, and swinging their club tails from side to side.

How much did an Ankylosaurus weigh?

The weight of this Cretaceous Ankylosaurus is based on the classification of the specimen collected. This dinosaur is estimated to have weighed around 10,582.2-17,637 lb (4,800-8,000 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

Female and male Ankylosaurus dinosaurs are not given any different names.

What would you call a baby Ankylosaurus?

Since the Ankylosaurus reproduced by laying eggs and the babies hatched from the eggs, a baby Ankylosaurus can be called hatchling or nestling. This generalized term can be used for all dinosaurs since they were all hatched from eggs. In the case of theropods, dinosaurs that resembled birds, a baby theropod can also be referred to as a chick.

What did they eat?

Primarily a herbivore, the Ankylosaurus with a tail club grazed on low-lying plants since it moved on its four legs. They were dependant on ferns and munching grass for their survival. The narrow beak at the end of its skull helped it strip leaves from the plants.

The predators of these dinosaurs included Tyrannosaurus, Tarbosaurus, and Deinonychus.

How aggressive were they?

They had passive defensive strategies to save themselves from predators like lying down motionless and swinging their tails. They had a plant-based and herbivorous diet that could be easily provided by natural resources. These features of the Ankylosaurus force paleontologists to call them a living tank.

Did you know...

The armor plates of the Ankylosaurus would have acted as a shield. They were extremely impenetrable. Armored dinosaurs also had cold-blooded metabolism.

The K/T Extinction event, therefore, was easily sustained by the Ankylosaurus. Their extinction took place 65 million years ago since there was a shortage of food they depended on. This fern and munching grass species had already been wiped off the Earth by the impact of the Yucatan meteor event.

All dinosaurs had tails in different shapes and for different purposes like the Ankylosaurus had clubbed hammer-tail.

Why are they called Ankylosaurus?

Ankylosaurus literally means 'fused lizard' in Greek. The Ankylosaurus was given this name because the fossils suggested that the bones in its skull and other parts of its body were fused, making the dinosaur extremely rugged.

How many teeth does Ankylosaurus have?

The Ankylosaurus is unique in the sense that they lacked any grinding teeth. The jaw began in a beak that was followed by teeth.

The teeth were leaf-like and placed at a considerable distance towards the back. The specimens were discovered by Peter Kaisen.

The American Museum of Natural History supported an expedition in 1906. Barnum Brown led this group in the Hell Creek region, near Gilbert Creek - Montana. The specimen consisted of the skull bone, two teeth, shoulder girdle bone, vertebrae ribs, and osteoderms or armored plates.

The teeth were not very wide and small in size as well. Ankylosaur dinosaurs had large skulls, which meant they had more teeth though smaller in size in the history of dinosaurs.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other dinosaurs from our Pinacosaurus interesting facts and Anadontosaurus surprising facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable stomping dinosaur coloring pages.

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Akinwalere Olaleye picture

Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

Read full bio >