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NODOSAURUS

a plant-eating nodosaurid ankylosaurian dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of North America.
Pronunciation: NOHD-o-SOR-us
Meaning: Nobbly (or Node) Lizard
Author/s: O.C. Marsh (1889)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Wyoming, USA
Chart Position: 48

Nodosaurus textilis

Upon discovery the first remains of Nodosaurus were thought by O.C. Marsh to belong to a "new member of the Stegosauria". Well over a century later we know that it wasn't a stegosaur at all, but for a creature that gave its name to a whole family of dinosaurs — Nodosauridae — there is still precious little known about it.

We know that its clan belong in Ankylosauria along with Ankylosaurus and its ankylosaurids, though nodosaurids were lightweights by comparison. With name-prompting bony knobs arranged in bands rather than full armour plates, and lacking the thunderous mace-ended tail of their fortified cousins, nodosaurids were more like armadillos than armoured tanks. At a distinct disadvantage from an defensive point of view they would probably flop to the floor to protect their unarmoured underside, stumpy legs and five-narrow-toed feet when under attack, then sit tight in the hope that hungry predators couldn't flip them over and render them helpless.

Named by Othniel Charles Marsh way back in 1889, Nodosaurus was one of the first armored dinosaurs to be discovered in North America, but complete skeletons have proven a tad elusive since and at the time of writing the grand total stands at, well, zero.
(Woven knobbed lizard)Etymology
Nodosaurus is derived from the Latin "nodus" (knob, node) and the Greek "sauros" (lizard), named for its armour knobs. The species epithet, textilis, means "to weave" in Latin, referring to said amour knobs that were arranged in bands and "woven" together to protect its back and flanks.
Discovery
The first remains of Nodosaurus were discovered in the Belle Fourche Member of the Frontier Formation at West slope, Como Bluff, Wyoming, USA, by W. Reed. The holotype (YPM 1815) is a partial skeleton.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Early Cretaceous
Stage: Cenomanian
Age range: 99-94 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 6 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 800 Kg
Diet: Herbivore
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Ornithischia
Thyreophora
Ankylosauria
Nodosauridae
Nodosaurus
textilis
References
• Marsh O.C. (1889) "Notice of gigantic horned Dinosauria from the Cretaceous". American Journal of Science 38:173-175.
• Lull R.S. (1921) "The Cretaceous armored dinosaur Nodosaurus textilis Marsh".
• Carpenter K. (2001) "The Armored Dinosaurs (Life of the Past)".
• Vickaryous M.K., Maryańska T. and Weishampel D.B. (2004) "Ankylosauria" in Weishampel, Dodson and Osmólska (eds.) "The Dinosauria: Second Edition".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "NODOSAURUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 21st Sep 2017.
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