"The great armored dinosaur Ankylosaurus (Stiffened Saurian) are rare dinosaurs in Hell Creek, favouring an upland habitat away from the coast. Feeding on soft, low growing vegetation such as ferns, Ankylosaurus possess a large, muscular tongue used to manipulate food. The famous clubbed tail is used by the animal as a predator-deterrent, capable of shattering bones upon impact. While adults are rarely bothered by predators, young ankylosaurs, or "scutelings", are vulnerable due to their still forming armour."

― Saurian encyclopedia

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.[1]


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, such as Dakotaraptor, Acheroraptor, Pectinodon, Quetzalcoatlus, crocodylomorphs and Palaeosaniwa. 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.

Physical appearanceEdit

Ankylosaurus are tan and black to match its' habitat and have molten orange on their amour.

Behavior and BiologyEdit

Described as the "beefcake of Hell Creek", Ankylosaurus is largely solitary 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 targets when pursued by a predator, but adults are rarely bothered by predators other than Tyrannosaurus.[1]

In Saurian Edit


Adult Dakotaraptor investigating an Ankylosaurus.

Ankylosaurus is currently in the game as an AI, but it is yet to be added in the game as a playable. Ankylosaurus is a creature that will usually ignore the player, as a Dakotaraptor, but due to its armor it is hard to kill one. As a defense, Ankylosaurus swings its deadly tail club everytime the player comes near to it. The tail club swing is very dangerous as it can kill the player with ease. Despite this, the tactic to kill a Ankylosaurus is the same as with a Denversaurus, but more difficult, still usually requiring biting the neck several times and avoiding the tail. Ankylosaurus is the rarest dinosaur currently found in the game, only being found in the bluffs. This may be that way, because Ankylosaurus wasn't found in South Dakota, where the game is set, but rather Montana, although rare fossil remains, attributed to ankylosaurids, are known from Bone Butte.

Currently, Ankylosaurus does not display sexual dimorphism or ontogenic stages.

Behind the scenesEdit


The original Ankylosaurus model.

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[2] with the textured version of this model being unveiled on November 6, 2013.[3] 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.


Ankylosaurus final design concept

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.[4] Skeletals of Ankylosaurus by Japanese skeletal artist "GetAwayTrike" also were used as a reference for the redesign of Ankylosaurus.[5]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Parker, Tom. (September 8, 2016) New Playable Animals: Vote Results! Saurian Blog.
  2. (November 1, 2013) Saurian Facebook
  3. (November 6, 2013) Saurian Facebook.
  4. Turinetti, Nick. (April 17, 2016) April 13th Livestream: The Aftermath. Saurian Website.
  5. (August 1, 2016) Saurian Twitter.
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