|Named By:||Lawrence Lambe in 1910|
|Time Period:||Late Cretaceous, 76.4-75.6 Ma|
|Location:||Canada, Alberta - Dinosaur Park & Horseshoe Canyon Formation. USA, Montana - Judith River Formation|
|Size:||6 meters long|
|Classification:||| Chordata | Reptilia | Dinosauria | Ornithischia | Thyreophoroidea | Ankylosauria | Ankylosauridae | Ankylosaurinae ||
|Also known as:||| Anodontosaurus | Scolosaurus ||
Euoplocephalus ( yew-OP-lo-SEF-a-las) is one of the largest genera of herbivorous ankylosaurian dinosaurs, living during the Late Cretaceous of Canada. It has only one named species, Euoplocephalus tutus.
The first fossil of Euoplocephalus was found in 1897 in Alberta. In 1902, it was named Stereocephalus, but that name had already been given to an insect, so it was changed in 1910. Later, many more ankylosaurid remains were found from the Campanian of North America and often made separate genera. In 1971, Walter Coombs concluded that they all belonged to Euoplocephalus which then would be one of the best-known dinosaurs. Recently however, experts have come to the opposite conclusion, limiting the authentic finds of Euoplocephalus to about a dozen specimens. These include a number of almost complete skeletons, so much is nevertheless known about the build of the animal.
Euoplocephalus was about five to six meters long and weighed over two tons. Its body was low-slung and very flat and wide, standing on four sturdy legs. Its head had a short drooping snout with a horny beak to bite off plants that were digested in the large gut. Like other ankylosaurids, Euoplocephalus was largely covered by bony armor plates, among them rows of large high-ridged oval scutes. The neck was protected by two bone rings. It could also actively defend itself against predators like Gorgosaurus using a heavy club-like tail end.