STL Science Center

STL Science Center

09 May 2014

Tiny Tanks of England

136 million years ago in the Cretaceous of England a 6 meter long ankylosaurid was plodding along living its ankylosaurid life. In 1832 that animal was described by Gideon Mantell as a 7.6 meter long fossil saurian; the term dinosaur was not coined until 1842 by Richard Owen. Named Hylaeosaurus ("Belonging to the forest"), one species is currently recognized as a valid taxon: Hylaeosaurus armatus Mantell 1833. The lack of material has lead researchers studying Hylaeosaurus to assign it as a potential basal nodosaurian polacanthid rather than an ankylosaur. Mantell's original specimen, from Tilgate Forest in West Sussex, is inventoried as NHMUK 3775 in the Natural Museum History of London. Remains from all over Europe have been attributed to this genus over time. What makes it stick out as a special and unique taxon? We should be able to find some answers to that important query this week.
Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins

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