Ankylosaurus is a genus of armored dinosaur. Fossils of Ankylosaurus have been found in geological formations dating to the very end of the Cretaceous Period, between about 68–66 million years ago, in western North America, making it among the last of the non-avian dinosaurs. It will be a playable dinosaur in Saurian, but will only become available after the core game's development is complete.
Named by Barnum Brown in 1908, the only species classified in the genus is A. magniventris. The genus name means "fused lizard" and the specific name means "great belly". A handful of specimens have been excavated to date, but a complete skeleton has not been discovered. Though other members of Ankylosauria are represented by more extensive fossil material, Ankylosaurus is often considered the archetypal member of its group.
The largest known ankylosaurid, Ankylosaurus measured up to 6.25 meters (20.5 feet) in length, 1.7 meters (5.6 feet) in height, and may have weighed up to 6 tons (13,000 lb).
Ankylosaurus had to eat a huge amount of low-lying plant material to sustain itself so its gut must have been very large. It probably had a fermentation compartment to aid in the digestion of the tough plant material, producing prodigious amounts of gas.
The top of the dinosaur was almost completely covered with thick armor consisting of massive knobs and oval plates of bone, known as osteoderms or scutes which would help protect it from predators, which are also common on crocodiles, armadillos and some lizards. The Ankylosaurus did not just have armored plates and bony knobs to protect it, however, and one of the other most recognized aspects of this heavily armored herbivore is its large club like tail. The Ankylosaurus tail was certainly not as flexible as some other dinosaur tails due to the last few vertebrae being fused with large bony protrusions which form the well known club tail shape. In order to support such a heavy club at the end of its tail though, the Ankylosaurus’ last seven tail vertebrae were interlocked and formed a stiff rod which was able to support such large bony protuberances. It is believed, from the analysis of fossilized Ankylosaurus tails that their clubs were most likely used as defensive weapons. The Ankylosaurus is thought to have been able to swing its large club tail by utilizing large tendons which connected the last interlocking vertebrae on the tail. By swinging its club tail with such force the Ankylosaurus would have been able to inflict extreme damage on any potential predator. A study conducted in 2009 showed that the huge tail and the bony knobs on the end of the tail could easily have broken bones in most predators of the Ankylosaurus and if lucky enough, they could kill its attacker. At one time paleontologists also believed that the bony round tail of the Ankylosaurus served to detract from its head by tricking predators in to believing that the smaller tail knob was in fact the head of the Ankylosaurus. This theory is not so widely accepted anymore and it is believed by most that the club tail of the Ankylosaurus was specifically used as a defensive weapon. While adults are rarely bothered by predators other than Tyrannosaurus, young ankylosaurs are vulnerable to many Hell Creek predators due to their still forming armor which would be soft and easy to pierce, and must either hide from predators or seek shelter in the company of more intimidating targets for protection.
From the only known concept art of the latest design by Chris Masnaghetti, males are tan and black to match its' habitat and molten orange, though this may change in the future.
Behavior and BiologyEdit
Described as the "beefcake of Hell Creek", Ankylosaurus is largely a solitary animal and is a territorial animal, though it tolerates other members of its species during breeding season. A herbivore, Ankylosaurus gains special benefits from eating specific plants and ranges wildly to defend plots of foliage from other members of its species as well as other herbivores. Their armor develops with age, leading juveniles, who have underdeveloped armor, to be vulnerable to many of Hell Creek's predators. Juveniles resort to hiding and seeking shelter in the company of intimidating target when pursued by a predator, but adults are rarely bothered by predators other than Tyrannosaurus.
Behind the scenesEdit
The first design of the Ankylosaurus was designed by Alex Lewko and was the basis for its original model. The original model of Ankylosaurus was first unveiled on the Saurian Facebook page on November 1, 2013 with the textured version of this model being unveiled on November 6, 2013. The original model featured differently shaped osteoderms and head and a different skin pattern than the latest model. Less vibrant than in Lewko's concept art, its color scheme was black with reddish-orange highlights on the legs and yellow on its osteoderms and head.
The Ankylosaurus would later receive a redesign based on input from ankylosaur expert Victoria Arbour, who was also consulted for the design of the related ankylosaur Denversaurus. Skeletals of Ankylosaurus by Japanese skeletal artist "GetAwayTrike" also were used as a reference for the redesign of Ankylosaurus.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Parker, Tom. (September 8, 2016) New Playable Animals: Vote Results! Saurian Blog.
- ↑ (November 1, 2013) Saurian Facebook
- ↑ (November 6, 2013) Saurian Facebook.
- ↑ Turinetti, Nick. (April 17, 2016) April 13th Livestream: The Aftermath. Saurian Website.
- ↑ (August 1, 2016) Saurian Twitter.
|Animals of Saurian|
|Playable: Ankylosaurus • Anzu • Dakotaraptor • Pachycephalosaurus • Triceratops • Tyrannosaurus
Non-playable: Acheroraptor (originally playable) • Alvarezsaur • Anatosaurus • Axestemys • Basilemys • Bone Butte Bird • Borealosuchus • Brachychampsa • Brodavis • Casterolimulus • Chamops • Champsosaurus • Denversaurus • Didelphodon • Habrosaurus • Meniscoessus • Mosasaurus • Ornithomimid • Quetzalcoatlus • Palaeosaniwa • Pectinodon • Thescelosaurus • Thoracosaurus • Toxochelys