Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
armored dinosaur, suborder of the Ornithi-schia order of dinosaurs, characteristic of the Cretaceous period. Ankylosaurs were large (up to eight or nine meters long), herbivorous, four-legged reptiles. The body was broad and thick, protected from above by bony spines or shields that were joined in some ankylosaurs into a solid coat of armor, hence their other name. There were often sharp spikes at the end of the tail, which served as an active means of defense against predatory dinosaurs. Remains of ankylosaurs have been found on all the continents except Australia and Antarctica, but mainly in the Cretaceous layer of North America, Europe, and Asia. In the USSR they have been found in Central Kazakhstan and Kyzylkum.
REFERENCEOsnovy paleontologii. Vol. 12: Zemnovodnye, presmykaiushchiesia i ptitsy. Moscow, 1964.
A. K. ROZHDESTVENSKII