STL Science Center

STL Science Center

15 January 2014

Under Sauropelta's Armor

©Ely Kish
The Ankylosaurs routinely have their armor discussed and very rarely have massive amounts of other information related to the public about them. The feet, girdles (pelvic and pectoral), and limbs are the real heroes of the Sauropelta anatomy. These structures were built to support approximately 3,300lbs (1,500kg) of weight and to move that weight around on the Early Cretaceous landscape. At a standstill that is over 800lbs resting on each foot while at a trot, well we can see that each impact would be more weight and a lot of pressure on a foot, limb, and the appropriate girdle. The forelimbs were shorter than the hindlimbs meaning that the dinosaur, generally, would have been sloped forward and down from the hips. The center of mass would have been moved somewhat forward into the lower or posterior chest area.

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