Nodosaurus Fact Sheet


Ready to learn about the nodule-plated dinosaur called the Nodosaurus? This dinosaur fact sheet about the Nodosaurus is free to download as a printable PDF document.

What does the name Nodosaurus mean?

Nodosaurus translates to “knobbed lizard”. It was given that name because of the bony nodules found on the wider armor plates arranged on the top of its body.

What family was the Nodosaurus from?

The Nodosaurus is part of the Nodosauridae family. It is a family of dinosaurs that were herbivores and walked exclusively on four legs.

What did the Nodosaurus eat?

The Nodosaurus was a herbivore, existing on prehistoric plant life. It is believed that it ate soft plants because its small teeth would not have allowed it to chew tough, fibrous plants. It is also proposed that it may have processed tough plants with gastroliths – a rock held inside an intestinal tract used to help grind plants that could not be processed by the animal’s teeth.

When and where did the Nodosaurus live?

The Nodosaurus lived in what is now the United States (Wyoming) and Canada (Alberta) at the very end of the Late Cretaceous Period, about 110 million to 70.6 million years ago.

How big was the Nodosaurus?

It is believed that the Nodosaurus could grow to 4 to 6 m (13 to 20 ft) long, and weigh about 3.5 tonnes.

When were the first remains of a Nodosaurus found?

The first incomplete specimen of the Nodosaurus was found in 1889 by an American professor of Paleontology in Yale College Othniel Charles Marsh in the Frontier Formation of Wyoming, United States.

What are some unique features of the Nodosaurus?

The most distinctive feature of the Nodosaurus is the nodules found on the armour plates. The Nodosaurus had bony armour plates on top of its body and may have had spikes on its side. The wider armour plates were covered by these nodules.

What are other interesting facts about the Nodosaurus?

Only two specimens of the Nodosaurus have been found by paleontologists. The first remains were found by Othniel Charles Marsh in 1889. The second specimen was found in the Suncor Millennium Mine in Alberta, Canada in 2011 and excavated in 2017. It was a very well-preserved fossil with its horns, spikes, and armor plates still intact.

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