Ankylosaurus Facts

Ankylosaurus Facts
Ankylosaurus was heavily armored dinosaur that lived at the end of Cretaceous Period, 66.8 to 65.5 million years ago. It lived in the western parts of the USA and Canada. First fossil of Ankylosaurus was discovered in Montana (Hell Creek Formation) in 1906. Ankylosaurus lived upland, away from rivers and swamps and its fossils are extremely rare. This is one of the last species of non-avian dinosaurs that lived before the mass extinction (which wiped out all dinosaurs from the planet).
Interesting Ankylosaurus Facts:
Ankylosaurus was 20.5 feet long and it weighed 3 to 4 tons.
Ankylosaurus had long, triangular head with prominent horns on the back of the head. It had narrow beak, wide, robust, low-slung body and long tail.
Ankylosaurus was quadrupedal animal which means that it walked on four legs. Its front legs were slightly shorter than hind legs and they were probably equipped with 5 toes.
Ankylosaurus was not very fast animal. It was able to reach the speed of 6 miles per hour.
Name Ankylosaurus means "fused lizard" and it refers to fused bones in the skull and other parts of the body which were responsible for the rugged appearance of this animal.
Ankylosaurus had armored body, covered with massive knobs and large bony plates. Bony plates were embedded in the skin and arranged in horizontal rows along the neck, back and hips. The greatest concentration of plates was located in the neck area (the most vulnerable zone). Only belly of Ankylosaurus was naked (free of bony plates).
Aside from armored plates, Ankylosaurus was also covered with two rows of spikes arranged along the body. Purpose of both bony plates and spikes was to provide protection against predators.
Natural enemies of Ankylosaurus were carnivorous dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus, Tarbosaurus and Deinonychus.
Modern animals such as crocodiles and armadillos have same type of bony plates on the body, which play exactly the same role - protect the body against the predators.
Ankylosaurus had huge club-like protrusion at the end of its tail which was able to crush the bones of its opponents. Researchers believe that tail was used during the fights for the females and territory, or as a weapon against predators.
Ankylosaurus was a herbivore. Its diet was based on low-lying plants.
Ankylosaurus had very small, leaf-shaped teeth designed for stripping leaves from the plants.
Based on the large olfactory bulb (structure in the brain), Ankylosaurus had keen sense of smell which was used for finding food and avoiding predators.
Ankylosaurus had complex sinuses and nasal cavities which were used both for thermoregulation and vocalization.
All facts known about Ankylosaurus are based on two skulls and isolated bones, armor and teeth (three incomplete fossils) that are discovered so far.

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