Period of life: 76 - 74 MYA
Habitat: Ferny prairies
Length: 5-7 m
Euoplocephalus is a Late Cretaceous period armoured dinosaurs of Ankylosauridae family. It inhabited Canada and USA about 76-74 million years ago. First fossils were recovered in 1897 in the Red Deer River valley, Canada. The remains included some neck and skull armour plates. The reptile name means from Latin "well-armoured head”.
The fact is that Euoplocephalus entire body was covered with bony armour plates and spikes of 15 centimetres long. The largest armour plates protected neck area. The tail ended up with heavy bulbous club. The ancient reptile was low-slung and wide, moving on four sturdy legs. Its low gravity centre made it well-balanced. It was almost seven metres in length and weighed over two tonnes. The large predators had to turn this “walking fortress” upside down to tear soft and unprotected abdominal area. This armour shell also played a dirty trick on Euoplocephalus. Entering the water the largest ankylosaurs immediately submerged under the armour weight. Archeologists often found the reptiles drowned.
Euoplocephalus skull was also armoured by bony plates. It ended up with a beak and had small side horns. Just imagine that it even had armoured eyelids (palpebral bones) lowering in case of danger. The skull was riddled with openings and small channels used for heating the inhaled air up.
The dinosaur fed on vegetation. Euoplocephalus dug the soil with its hoof-shaped feet ended in sharp claws to pick up juicy roots as well as fresh shoots.
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