Pronunciation: ant-ARK-toe-pell-tuh Meaning: Antarctic shield Author/s: Salgado and Gasparini (2006) Synonyms: None known First Discovery: James Ross Island, Antarctica Chart Position: 465
Located in 1986, excavated over the following ten years, and discussed in three separate publications since then, Antarctopelta was only officially named by Salgado and Gasparini in 2006. This heal-dragging meant it was robbed of the "first named dinosaur from Antarctica" title when Hammer's crested Cryolophosaurus, although discovered five years later, managed to get itself fully described by 1993. However, Antarctopelta is the first Antarctic ornithischian, the first named Antarctic plant eater and only the second ankylosaur known from the Southern Hemisphere.
(Olivero's Antarctic Shield)EtymologyAntarctopelta is derived from "Antarctica" (its place of discovery) and the Greek "pelte" (Shield), referring to its armour. The species epithet, oliveroi, honors Eduardo Olivero who, along with Roberto Scasso, made the discovery.
DiscoveryThe first and only known specimen of Olivero's Antarctic shield was discovered at Santa Marta Cove in the Snow Hill Island Formation (Marambio Group), James Ross Island, off the Antarctic Peninsula, in 1986, but took a full decade to excavate. Frozen ground, you see? The Holotype (MLP 86-X-28-1) includes part of the lower jaw with a single tooth attached, three isolated teeth, skull fragments, vertebrae from the neck, back, hips and tail, some partial limb bones, a few toe bones and loads of armour.