|“||If there is one dinosaur that specializes in defense, it is the extraordinary Aknylosaurus. Meet the most heavily armored animal of all time.||„|
|— Allen, about Ankylosaurus|
Ankylosaurus (an-kih-loh-saw-us; meaning "Fused Lizard") is a genus of ankylosaurid dinosaur that lived to the very end of the Late Cretaceous 70-65 million years ago in western North America. It was the largest member of the ankylosaur family of dinosaurs, measuring over 11 meters long, standing 1.80 meters tall, and weighing 7 tons with heavy armor and a massive club at the end of its tail.
It was a herbivorous dinosaur that had very limited intelligence, due to its skull being heavily reinforced (as was the rest of the animal) with armor, leaving little space for much of a brain at all. It would have been reduced to instinctive reactions that made it appear a rather unpredictable and aggressive dinosaur, even for a herbivore.
The last and largest of the tank-like armored dinosaurs, Ankylosaurus lived in the Late Cretaceous period, about 70-65 MYA, and died out alongside other dinosaurs during the K/T extinction event.
Size/DescriptionEditAnkylosaurus was the largest member of the ankylosaur family. They stood about 7 feet tall, measured 33 feet (11 meters) long and weighing at 7 tons, Ankylosaurus were so heavily armored that even their eyelids were hardened armor. As an extraordinary species of herbivorous dinosaurs that specialized in defense, they evolved to withstand attacks from even giant predatory dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus Rex.
And if that wasn't enough, they had a large, bony, and formidable club on the end of their tails, which was a 140-150 pound ball of solid bone and would have been a devastating defensive weapon wielded against attacking predators. Analysis of Ankylosaurus brain cavity indicates the most highly developed part of its brain was devoted to its sense of smell.
Ankylosaurus was the most heavily armored animals of all time. Literately, these creatures body was like an armored box. Ankylosaurus also had poor eyesight, but their senses of smell could still detect a predator. This dinosaur was well protected from big meat eaters. Large bony plates, which probably had additional horn-like coverings, protected its flanks.
The skull was thick with two pairs of sharp horns at the back of the head. Parts of the tail vertebrae were fused like the handle of a club, while the base of the tail remained flexible. However, despite their heavy armor, Ankylosaurus had one vulnerable stop: its underside.
Ankylosaurus had very little brains inside their reinforced skulls. So when faced with danger, they reacted automatically and aggressively. In addition, Ankylosaurus was also a solitary dinosaur but often lived together in pairs. In the presence of other fellow herbivores, such as Torosaurus, Ankylosaurus often ate with those dinosaurs.