4 Ankylosaurus Facts for Kids
The Ankylosaurus is one of the most well-known dinosaurs to exist. It was a low-lung and slow moving dinosaur that that had an armored shell that was almost impenetrable. If you are not familiar with the Ankylosaurus there are a variety of cool facts that you can learn.
1. Discovered Early in the 20th Century
The first fossil of an Ankylosaurus was not actually discovered until the 20th century. It was first found by a famed paleontologist named P.T. Barnum. It was in 1906 that Barnum first discovered the fossil of an Ankylosaurus near Montana’s Hell Creek. Once he discovered the first Ankylosaurus fossil he found many more nearby. His most unique discovery was of many different pieces of the fossilized armor. He initially called this the Dynamosaurus.
2. What Was the Armor Made Of?
The armor of the Ankylosaurus was extremely unique and very durable, but is was constructed of osteoderms. The armor that covered the head, neck and back of the Ankylosaurus was its most notable feature, but it was made primarily of deep plates of bone. Osteoderms are deep plates of bones that are embedded. This means that the armor was not actually fully attached to the skeleton of the Ankylosaurus. The deeply embedded bone plates were even covered by a thick layer of keratin to offer even more protection.
3. Did Not Have Predators
Adult Ankylosaurus’s were so large in size that they were almost immune from predation. They were very low to the ground and normally weight about 5 to six tons at adult size. This means that they were almost impossible to move or tip over. Even the very predatory Tyrannosaurus Rex was really no match for a full-grown Ankylosaurus. This means that only baby Ankylosaurus’s were preyed on. Adults were simply too big.
4. Unusually Small Brain
The total size of an adult Ankylosaurus was extremely large, but they also had an unusually small brain. This is in comparison to other similar dinosaurs. The Stegosaurus is seen by many to be the most dim witted, but the Ankylosaurus had a brain that was even smaller in size. However, many slow armored animals that eat primarily plants do not require much brain matter, which is what the small brain size of the Ankylosaurus can be attributed to. The only defensive strategy that they needed was to lie still.