Peloroplites

Peloroplites

 

Peloroplites

Peloroplites

Scientific Name: Peloroplites cedrimontanus, meaning "monstrous heavy one from Cedar Mountain"

Time Period: about 100 million years ago, end of Early Cretaceous

 


Peloroplites belongs to a specific subgroup of ankylosaurs called nodosaurids. The four-legged, slow moving titan was discovered in the Cedar Mountain Formation south of Price, at the north end of the San Rafael Swell. This formation represents the Early Cretaceous from about 127 Million to 98 million years ago.

This dinosaur weighed about as much as four Mini Coopers. The skeletal remains found include bones from most parts of the skeleton, except for the hind foot. The museum’s skeleton is of one of the largest armored dinosaurs ever found. This quadrupedal dinosaur had short legs and was a slow walker. To protect itself against predators looking for a quick lunch, it bristled with spikes.

Peloroplites skullThe front beak is wide so that it could crop low vegetation. The teeth and the robust jaws suggest that it could chew rather tough plants. It had a huge gut to digest this material. These dinosaurs had no tail club that characterizes the better known Ankylosaurus. Its body was encased in armor bones that formed in the skin much like on the body of crocodiles and alligators. This provided protection against large carnivorous dinosaurs of the time. This monster, located in the museum, is 23 feet long, 6 1/2 feet tall and 6 3/4 feet wide at the hips.

Peloroplites armorPeloroplites lived alongside another armored dinosaur called Cedarpelta, found at the same site. These armored dinosaurs, along with Animantarx, also from the Mussentuchit Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation, two species of Gastonia from the Yellow Cat and Ruby Ranch Members, as well as several more as yet unnamed ankylosaurs, make Utah one of the richest places for ankylosaurs.

The site that Peloroplites was found also produced fossils of a terrestrial turtle, a flying reptile or pterosaur, four individuals of a new brachiosaurid sauropod, and an iguanodont ornithopod. Paleontologists are currently studying these skeletons.


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