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EDMONTONIA

a plant-eating nodosaurid ankylosaurian dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Canada.
edmontonia
Pronunciation: ed-mon-TOE-nee-uh
Meaning: for Edmonton
Author/s: Sternberg (1928)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Alberta, Canada
Chart Position: 118

Edmontonia longiceps

Edmontonia is a nodosaurid ankylosaur, one of the low-slung, four-legged, tank-like herbivores with a shield of armour plates on their skull, back and tail. Compared to ankylosaurid ankylosaurs, nodosaurids were less robust and lacked a thunderous tail club, but they weren't necessarily short changed. Many sharp spikes along their sides were a decent replacement, and Edmontonia was further fortified with three halfrings made of large keeled plates to protect the back of its neck and shoulders, the latter of which sported the longest spikes.

Paleontologists have speculated for ever about these spikes and their purpose. Were they tools for use during bouts of "shovey" between rival males? A non-contact "my spikes are bigger than yours" show for intimidation purposes? Or just a good old fashioned defence against would-be predators? It may be that if females found big spikes incredibly alluring then Mother Nature simply blessed males with big spikes, which would confirm our suspicions; even in the Late Cretaceous it was all about the size of your appendage.

In 1971 Walter Coombs referred all confirmed species of Edmontonia to a subgenus within Panoplosaurus, creating Panoplosaurus (Edmontonia) longiceps and Panoplosaurus (Edmontonia) rugosidens. But some experts remained sceptical and the results of later research by Arbour, Burns and Sissons confirmed that they had every right to be. Although similar in overall size and general proportions, Edmontonia has a more pear-shaped skull than Panoplosaurus, with a longer snout and smooth-surfaced armour, its sacrum consists of one less vertebra (3), the spine and arch of its vertebrae are shorter, and it has larger teeth.
Etymology
Edmontonia was named after the Edmonton formation (See discovery).
The species epithet, longiceps, is derived from the Latin "longus" (long) and "ceps" (head) because of its... long head.
Discovery
The fossils of Edmontonia longiceps were discovered in the Horseshoe Canyon Formation (formerly the Edmonton Formation) in the Edmonton Group of Alberta, Canada, by George Paterson in 1924. Edmontonia was named 4 years later by C. M. Sternberg.
The holotype (NMC 8531) is a partial skeleton.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Cretaceous
Stage: Campanian-Maastrichtian
Age range: 73-70 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 7 meters
Est. max. hip height: 2 meters
Est. max. weight: 3 tons
Diet: Herbivore
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Ornithischia
Thyreophora
Ankylosauria
Nodosauridae
Edmontonia
longiceps
Other Species
Edmontonia rugosidens began a roller coaster ride as Palaeoscincus rugosidens before being sunk into Edmontonia longiceps when paleontologists realised Palaeoscincus was based on a single tooth and in no position to be anchoring its own genus. These remains were tagged "Edmontonia (Chassternbergia) rugosidens" by Robert T. Bakker in an attempt to seperate them based on differences in skull features and age, then full-on coined Chassternbergia (for Chas Sternberg) in 1988. This move received little support and most experts refer to this critter simply as Edmontonia rugosidens.
Edmontonia australis, which is known only from armour scutes, may (or may not) be synonymous with Glyptodontopelta (Glyptodon shield).
Edmontonia schlessmani is the youngest species of Edmontonia and was originally named Denversaurus schlessmani (Schlessman's Denver lizard) based upon a skull from South Dakota's Lance Formation. Also named by Bakker in 1988, most paleontologists think its noggin probably belongs to Edmontonia rugosidens.
References
• T.L. Ford. (2000) "A review of ankylosaur osteoderms from New Mexico and a preliminary review of ankylosaur armour".
• M.K. Vickaryous, T. Maryańska and D.B Weishampel (2004) "Ankylosauria" in Weishampel, Dodson and Osmólska (eds.) "The Dinosauria: Second Edition".
• Michael E. Burns (2008) "Taxonomic utility of ankylosaur (Dinosauria, Ornithischia) osteoderms: Glyptodontopelta mimus Ford, 2000: a test case".
• R.T. Bakker (1988) "Review of the Late Cretaceous nodosauroid Dinosauria: Denversaurus schlessmani, a new armor-plated dinosaur from the Latest Cretaceous of South Dakota, the last survivor of the nodosaurians, with comments on Stegosaur-Nodosaur relationships".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "EDMONTONIA :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 24th May 2017.
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