Dinosaur Profile: Ankylosaurus

Dinosaur Profile: Ankylosaurus

It’s been a while since I got to write about a dinosaur so today I am writing about one of the most easily recognizable dinosaurs, the Ankylosaurus. The Ankylosaurus has become one of the most popular and easily noticed dinosaurs of the modern era, making it an excellent subject for a Dinosaur Profile.

The name Ankylosaurus literally means “fused lizard” which fits this lumbering behemoth quite well. The total length of this main battle tank of a lizard is estimated at over twenty feet.  The estimated weight for this behemoth is around 13,000 pounds.  These are estimates because, despite it’s popularity and familiarity to the general public, no full specimens have ever been found.  In fact, the vast majority of the skeleton has never been found, including legs and the trademark tail.  The trademark back armor has been discovered in parts however. Ankylosaurus is defined by it’s armor but all the armor came at the price of speed. Computer modeling estimates that Ankylosaurus could move at a pathetic six miles an hour.  The tail club for which it is known has been found once, not attached to the body of the Ankylosaur.

There has been much written about Ankylosaurus behavior, much of which is purely conjectural. However, some of it bears repeating here. This armored giant had a large nasal passage, which served the dual purposes of regulating temperature, particularly to the brain, and providing a keen sense of smell.  The tails are presumed to have performed several functions, including defense against predators, interspecine competition for food and mates, and even as a way to attract a mate. It is not known if the tail club was indicative of gender.  The Ankylosaurus had a distinct beak mouth and small grinding teeth designed for crushing plants.   The only soft spot on the armored beast was the stomach, and, because it was so wide, obtaining a bite grip on the Ankylosaurus back would have been extremely difficult for a would be predator. The only way to kill it would have been to flip it on it’s stomach, but this risked receiving a bone crushing blow from the clubbed tail.  To a bipedal creature such as Tyrannosaurus, often this would not have been worth the risk.  Ankylosaurus may have been a scrounger as well, digging up roots with its powerful feet.

Evolutionists tell us that Ankylosaurus came into being around 70 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period. It is believed to have descended from earlier, less armored dinosaurs such as Nodosaurus. Due to a lack of a full specimen, it is difficult to ascribe much more evolutionary history.

Creationists view Ankylosaurus in a different light. They would have been found regularly in the Garden of Eden, digging up luscious roots and munching on fallen fruits. With no predators in the Garden, Ankylosaurus would have basked in the sun, most likely in small groups.  They would have kept small shrubs under control with their rasping beak and could possible have gnawed on fallen branches as well with their stumpy teeth and sharp beak.

If some of the things evolutionists suggest about Ankylosaurus are true, then questions begin to arise about how they developed. For example, if the Ankylosaurus did in fact regulate it’s temperature through it’s nasal passages, how did such as mechanism evolve? Where is the evidence to support such a change in use? Creationists have no problem with this, as it could easily have been built in pre-fall by the Creator.  It would be an ingenious solution to regulating the reptilian Ankylosaurus’ internal temperature.  The Creator truly has put together an incredible world for us to enjoy and Ankylosaurus is just one example of His creations.

Harry

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