Home » All Great Easy Ways To Save Tax And Good Deductions » Ankylosaurus: A Tank-like Herbivore With a Killer Club Tail

The Best Sellers

COVID-19 Solutions & Effective Tips


The Greatest Emergency Virus Surviving 10 Steps Guide

Risk Responses COVID-19 Solutions


For Use When Travel FIRST AID KIT


Amazon Impress Gifts 50% Off HOLIDAYS&CHRISTMAS Only!


RSS Top Internet Today News

THE Best Sellers

Amazon Best Sellers

Arts & Entertainment

 Body Art
 Film & Television
 Magic Tricks


 Latin America
 Middle East
 Specialty Travel
 United States


 Individual Sports
 Martial Arts
 Other Team Sports
 Outdoors & Nature
 Racket Sports
 Water Sports
 Winter Sports
 Extreme Sports

Betting Systems

 Casino Table Games
 Horse Racing

Spirituality, New Age & Alternative Beliefs


Business / Investing

 Equities & Stocks
 Foreign Exchange
 International Business
 Management & Leadership
 Marketing & Sales
 Personal Finance
 Real Estate
 Small Biz / Entrepreneurship
 Careers, Industries & Professions

As Seen On TV

 Backyard Living
 Health and Beauty
 Kitchen Tools and Gadgets

E-business & E-marketing

 E-commerce Operations
 E-zine Strategies
 Email Marketing
 Market Research
 Niche Marketing
 Paid Surveys
 Pay Per Click Advertising
 Social Media Marketing
 Blog Marketing
 Video Marketing
 Classified Advertising
 Affiliate Marketing
 Article Marketing

Employment & Jobs

 Cover Letter & Resume Guides
 Job Listings
 Job Search Guides
 Job Skills / Training




 Console Guides & Repairs
 Strategy Guides

Green Products

 Alternative Energy
 Conservation & Efficiency

Computers / Internet

 System Analysis & Design
 Email Services
 Operating Systems
 System Administration
 Web Hosting
 Web Site Design

Cooking, Food & Wine

 Drinks & Beverages
 Regional & Intl.
 Special Diet
 Special Occasions
 Vegetables / Vegetarian
 Wine Making


 Sign Language


 Test Prep & Study Guides
 Student Loans
 Higher Education
 Educational Materials

Home & Garden

 Animal Care & Pets
 Crafts & Hobbies
 Gardening & Horticulture
 How-to & Home Improvements
 Interior Design


 Developer Tools

Health & Fitness

 Women's Health
 Spiritual Health
 Strength Training
 Dietary Supplements
 Dental Health
 Diets & Weight Loss
 Exercise & Fitness
 Men's Health
 Mental Health
 Sleep and Dreams

Software & Services

 3D Printing
 Internet Tools
 Anti Adware / Spyware
 Background Investigations
 Developer Tools
 Digital Photos
 Foreign Exchange Investing
 Graphic Design
 MP3 & Audio
 Operating Systems
 Other Investment Software
 Personal Finance
 Registry Cleaners
 Reverse Phone Lookup
 Screensavers & Wallpaper
 System Optimization
 Web Design


 Time Management
 Stress Management
 Dating Guides
 Eating Disorders
 Male Dating Guides
 Marriage & Relationships
 Motivational / Transformational
 Personal Finance
 Public Speaking
 Self Defense

Parenting & Families

 Pregnancy & Childbirth
 Special Needs


 Gay / Lesbian
 Catalogs & Directories
 Consumer Guides
 Law & Legal Issues
 The Sciences

Politics / Current Events


Ankylosaurus: A Tank-like Herbivore With a Killer Club Tail

Ankylosaurus: A Tank-like Herbivore With a Killer Club Tail



It’s hard to read anything about dinosaurs without bringing along preconceived notions of what the creatures might have looked or acted like. Most people either read books as children or watched television or movies that depicted dinosaurs as massive, monstrous creatures, seeking to destroy or devour anything in their path. Some of those animals, like Tyrannosaurus, were huge predators. But not all dinosaurs fit that bill. Enter the Ankylosaur.

While this four-legged dino was certainly big – the largest Ankylosaurus ever found was 20.5 feet (6.25 meters) long and weighed around 4 tons (3.6 metric tons) – Ankylosaurus was an herbivore, a plant-eating tank of an animal. And we do mean tank. The Ankylosaurus was covered with thick, bony plates – a defense that came in handy for this hefty herbivore and lent it its name. Ankylosaurus means “fused lizard” in Greek – the bony plates were fused to the dinosaur’s skull and other body parts making it extremely sturdy.

Dr. Hans Sues is the senior research geologist and curator of fossil vertebrates in the department of paleobiology at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., and has published widely on many species of dinosaurs, including a 2020 article on the skull of one species from the ankylosaur group in the journal Biological Communications.

“The first line of defense was their outer armor composed of bony plates,” Sues says via email. “In fact, ankylosaurs were so heavily armored that even their upper eyelid was protected by a bony plate. One group of ankylosaurs, Ankylosauridae, had massive clubs of bone at the end of their tails, and they could swing their tails to inflict massive damage on the legs of an attacking predator.”

The Ankylosaurus’ body was thick and squat, its legs sturdy. It had a broad, triangular shaped skull. But it was the armor that made the difference – hard plates covered with bony spikes jutting from its flanks and bony knobs called osteoderms or scutes protruding from its back. Horned protuberances stood out above each eye and on the sides of the face. Not all ankylosaurs had the same armor patterning but all had armor to protect them from predators, most notably Tyrannosaurus, Tarbosaurus and Deinonychus.

And ankylosaurs needed that protection because they spent most of the day eating massive amounts of food – stripping leaves from low-lying plants.

“They have small teeth similar to those of present-day plant-eating lizards,” Sues says. “An amazing discovery of a nearly perfect ankylosaur skeleton from Alberta [British Columbia, Canada] preserved gut contents that confirmed that ankylosaurs ate plants.” However, Sues shared a startling discovery. “One small-bodied ankylosaur recently discovered in northern China apparently went into lakes and even ate small fish,” he says.

Though the first ankylosaur fossil was discovered by Barnum Brown in the Hell Creek Formation in Montana in 1906, Sues says ankylosaurs have been found in many places throughout the world including Europe, Antarctica, Asia, Australia and North and South America.

“In fact, one of the first dinosaurs ever to be discovered was an ankylosaur, Hylaeosaurus from southern England, discovered in 1831,” he says.

Ankylosaurs had a complex nasal system which included a large cavity volume for the region of the brain that handles the olfactory sense (sense of smell). A 2011 study in the Journal of Anatomy suggested that ankylosaurs may have had a highly developed sense of smell in order to find food and to avoid predators.

We do not know whether or not ankylosaurs were social as adults, whether they moved in herds. According to Sues there’s simply no evidence one way or the other, though he said that a group of very young ankylosaurs were discovered in the Gobi Desert.

And though Ankylosaurus armor and body type might bring to mind thoughts of alligators and crocodiles, Sues says they are not related. “The closing living relatives of dinosaurs are birds,” he adds.

Interestingly, Ankylosaurus was estimated to have lived between 65.5 million to 66.8 million years ago in North America during the Late Cretaceous period which means ankylosaurs were among the last dinosaurs roaming the earth. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) dinosaurs went extinct about 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous period. In addition to fossil sites in Montana, Ankylosaurus tracks have been found in the western U.S. in Arches National Park in Utah and in the Patuxent Formation, where the Little and Big Patuxent Rivers meet in Maryland.

A fascinating ankylosaur discovery in 2016 in Montana’s Judith River Formation bore a striking (and spiky) resemblance to the mythical monster Zuul in the movie “Ghostbusters.” The paleontologists making the discovery were so struck by the similarity between the recovered skull and the movie monster that they named the specimen Zuul crurivastator, which means “destroyer of shins” in Latin, and refers to the Ankylosaurs long, club-like tail.

Last editorial update on Jul 13, 2020 02:30:28 pm.

Print |
Citation & Date |





Get the best of HowStuffWorks by email!

Keep up to date on: Latest Buzz · Stuff Shows & Podcasts · Tours · Weird & Wacky

Copyright © 2020 HowStuffWorks, a division of InfoSpace Holdings, LLC, a System1 Company

Privacy Choices

We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.


Ankylosaurus: A Tank-like Herbivore With a Killer Club Tail

Research & References of Ankylosaurus: A Tank-like Herbivore With a Killer Club Tail|A&C Accounting And Tax Services


Leave a comment