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Skeleton reconstruction of Nodosaurus (1921)

Skeleton reconstruction of Nodosaurus (1921)

Temporal occurrence
Lower Cretaceous (Upper Albium )
107.5 to 100.5 million years
Pelvic dinosaur (Ornithischia)
Ankylosaurs (ankylosauria)
Scientific name
Marsh , 1889
  • Nodosaurus textilis

Nodosaurus is a genus of pelvic dinosaur from the group of Ankylosauria . He lived in the late Lower Cretaceous and was the first ankylosaur to be discovered in North America.


Until 2011, only parts of the pelvis , individual bone plates and isolated bones of the postcranial skeleton of the Nodosaurus had been found. On this basis, it was assumed that they were medium-sized ankylosaurs, which reached an estimated length of 4 to 6 meters. Like all representatives of this group, his body was covered with bone plates (osteoderms). In addition to large plates, this armor also consisted of small, bony cusps. Like all Ankylosauria, this dinosaur may have moved quadruped (on all fours), the trunk was stocky and the limbs short and strong. Like all ankylosaurs, it was probably herbivorous.

Discovery and naming

Fossil finds of Nodosaurus were discovered by Othniel Charles Marsh in the course of the confrontation with Edward Drinker Cope known as the Bone Wars in the Frontier Formation in the US state of Wyoming and first described in 1889. The name (translated "knot lizard") alludes to the bony cusps. Nodosaurus was also the first ankylosaur to be discovered in North America. The finds are dated to the late Lower Cretaceous (Upper Albian ) to an age of approx. 107 to 100 million years.


Nodosaurus is the namesake of the Nodosauridae , one of the two subgroups of the Ankylosauria and is counted in this group in most classifications. Vickaryous, M. et al. (2004), however, consider the findings to be too sparse for an exact classification and list it as "Ankylosauria incertae sedis ."


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Gregory S. Paul : The Princeton Field Guide To Dinosaurs. Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ et al. 2010, ISBN 978-0-691-13720-9 , p. 236, online .

Web links

Commons : Nodosaurus  - collection of images, videos and audio files