Panoply, in the title, has a lot of meanings, for this week we are going with the old military meaning: A full suit of armor. I cannot say for sure why I keep making the research end of this much more in depth than it needs to be the last few weeks, looking up dinosaurs with very little past, but I am going to do it again this week. An Aptian "pseudofossil," it was an embryonic dinosaur, was discovered by Ray Stanford, an East Coast ichnofossil (trace fossils like footprints and coprolites etc.) phenom; seriously, the man is a "citizen scientist," meaning he is not a PhD guy out doing this professionally, that scours the land and finds fossil trace evidence like he belongs on a Mesozoic version of CSI or Bones and he's been doing this since the late 80's. Pseudofossils are rare enough, and naming a species, in this case Propanoplosaurus marylandicus, after a juvenile is even more rare, because dinosaurs do change over time, like other animals, and naming a species after a juvenile may just create a junior synonym for a known adult which we did not recognize as a later growth model of the juvenile. Propanoplosaurus means "toward or before Panoplosaurus" which in turn means "completely armored lizard." It is a middle Cretaceous nodosaur; Panoplosaurus is a Late Cretaceous dinosaur. Nodosaurs, remember, are armored herbivores, low to the ground with thick bone scutes and dermal thicknesses ("osteoderms") protecting their bodies; they are a subfamily under Ankylosaurs.
This baby (embryo, fetus, etc.) was discovered as an imprint of a good amount of the dinosaur. It is not the actual bones, but a cast of the skull and postcranial skeletons including the ribs, but lacking the pelvic girdle and caudal vertebrae. The word baby evokes oohs and ahhs on its own and Brian Switek even went so far as to call it adorable; I cannot say I disagree that it was probably an adorable little armored tike:
|From Stanford, et al. 2011|