Saturday September 12, 2015
Ankylosaurs' Tail Had a Wicked End
Ankylosaurs were plant-eating dinosaurs that first appeared over 145 million years ago, during the Jurassic, and lived right through to the end of the Cretaceous period, 66 million years ago. They were known for the protective spikes and plates all over their head and body.
A typical Ankylosaur had a long, flexible tail. But at some point in their evolution, that changed in the name of adding even more protection. A new study Dr. Victoria Arbour, a Canadian Post-doctoral researcher at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, found that the Ankylosaur tail became stiff, then evolved a large club-like structure on the end.
The club was likely used to to strike other Ankylosaurs, similar to the way animals with horns and antlers battle each other today.