Dino Day #2

Today is the second Dino Day and this week’s dinosaur is the Ankylosaurus.

(image from National Geographic)

(image from National Geographic)

The Ankylosaurus is really interesting. All those bony plates and the spiked protuberance on the end of the tail. Excellent defensive and offensive measures.

These animals were once found in Western North America munching on giant ferns and other leafy greens. They grew about 30 feet long and 6 feet tall. Pieces of the first specimen were discovered in 1906 in Montana. The teeth of the Ankylosaurus were incredibly small for such a large animal.

 

Famous Ankylosaurus:

The Ankylosaurus we saw in Jurassic World were very cute. Ankylo

Ankylo from Dinosaucers was much less cute. And a bad guy.

Ankylomon, a champion dinosaur digimon who is very yellow.

Power Rangers Dinosaurs even had one named Zyudenryu Ankydon which, while not cute, is still cuter than Ankylo.

Dino Dan did an Ankylosaurus as well.

And this post would not be complete without Anguirus of Godzilla fame.

I always figured an Ankylosaurus would be a neat one to actually meet. So long as they didn’t see me as a threat and crush me beneath the weight of that tail.

 

How can we tell what dinosaurs ate? First, teeth are excellent indicators. We can see what kind of animals have what kind of teeth – deer teeth vs lion teeth for instance. Teeth made for eating plants are very different than teeth made for ripping flesh. It’s not so different with animals who are extinct now. Unfortunately, we don’t always find the right teeth with the right dinosaur or we find no teeth at all. Fortunately, teeth aren’t the only way we can figure things out though. Some dinosaurs have been fossilized with their stomach contents in tact for scientists to examine. Another telling way to establish an animal’s diet however is by examining coprolites (fossilized dinosaur excrement) provided you can figure out which dinosaur made it. In short, some we know, some we don’t. If we knew everything, doing these posts would be much more boring.

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