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Nodosaurus

Nodosaurus.gif

Nodosaurus was a genus of herbivorous ankylosaurian dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous period in North America. It was about 4 to 6 metres (13 to 20 ft) long. It was also an ornithischian dinosaur with bony dermal plates covering the top of its body, and it may have had spikes along its side as well. The dermal plates were arranged in bands along its body, with narrow bands over the ribs alternating with wider plates in between. These wider plates were covered in regularly arranged bony nodules, which give the animal its scientific name. It had four short legs, five-toed feet, a short neck, and a long, stiff, clubless tail. The head was narrow, with a pointed snout, powerful jaws, and small teeth. It perhaps ate soft plants, as it would have been unable to chew tough, fibrous ones; or alternatively it may have processed the latter with gastroliths and its enormous intestinal apparatus. It is thought that without a club on its tail, Nodosaurus would have been left without much in terms of active defenses. When threatened, it probably dropped to the ground so that only its armored back and sides were exposed, much like modern-day hedgehogs.

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