The defining point of an ankylosaurus is its armor. Their armor consists of very tough bones and scales embedded in its skin. They were a very large animal. Ankylosauruses could be up to 30 feet long, 6 feet wide, and about 4 feet high. Most animals today are not wider than they are tall, so one can understand how awkward this animal looked (think of a stingray mixed with a rhino… on land). The ankylosaurus had 4 feet and its rear legs were taller than its front legs. The ankylosaurus had a very large bony tail “club”. The dinosaur also had 2 long rows of spikes coming from the side of its body and horns protruding backwards from the back of its head.
The ankylosaurus was a massive herbivore (only ate plants). Because of this the dinosaur must have had a very large stomach. This could have contributed to the awkward size of the ankylosaurus. They probably defended themselves against predators with their big bone club tail. It would naturally be difficult for carnivorous predators to prey on the ankylosaurus because of all the spikes and armor and large club tail. The ankylosaurus would have to have eaten low lying plant materials because of how short it was.
The ankylosaurus lived in the cretaceous period until the extinction of all dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Fossils have been found in Montana, United States of America and Alberta, Canada. No complete skeletons of ankylosauruses have been found yet.
DID YOU KNOW?
Ankylosaurus’s armor is actually fused with its skin.
Despite its awkward shape the ankylosaurus could in fact jog.
Ankylosis refers to the stiffness produced by the fusion of many bones in the skull and body.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Sauropsida
- Order: Ornithischia
- Family: Ankylosauridae
- Genus: Ankylosaurus
- Species: A. Magniventris