Monday, 10 December 2012

E is for Edmontonia

Last week, we talked about the large theropod Daspletosaurus. Continuing through the Alberta dinosaur alphabet brings us to the letter 'E', and 'E is for Edmontonia', an armoured dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous. Edmontonia was named after the Edmonton Formation, a rock formation that is now known as the Horseshoe Canyon Formation, and is found in Alberta, where this dinosaur was first found. Edmontonia fossils can be found in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the US, and it lived approximately 76-70 million years ago. 
Edmontonia was an armoured dinosaur, also known as an ankylosaur, and was covered in large bony plates called osteoderms. These plates provided a lot of protection from predators, as they covered most of its head, neck, back, and tail. However, the underside is unprotected, leaving itself vulnerable if it could be flipped over. Some of these osteoderms were modified into spikes (as seen around the shoulder area). Edmontonia stood about 2 m high and 6.5 m long, making it a pretty sturdy dinosaur, often compared to a tank. Unlike some other well known armoured dinosaurs, Edmontonia did not have a tail club on the end of its tail, meaning it was not able to defend itself by smashing the club into incoming predators. Instead, it could potentially use the spikes on its shoulders to intimidate a predator, and they could also use them in self defence. The shoulder spikes may have also been used in territory disputes between males. This dino wouldn't have been an easy one to eat!

Other 'E' Dinosaurs from Alberta:

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