Gargoyleosaurus (Gargoyle lizard)
K. Carpenter, C. Miles & K. Cloward - 1998
Estimated 4-5 meters long
G. parkpinorum (type)
USA, Wyoming - Morrison Formation
Late Jurassic, 154-144 million years ago
Gargoyleosaurus is a genus of armored dinosaur that lived in what is now North America during the Late Jurassic period, approximately 154 to 144 million years ago. The name Gargoyleosaurus is derived from the gargoyle-like appearance of its skull and the Greek word sauros, meaning lizard.
Gargoyleosaurus was a small to medium-sized ankylosaur that grew to be about 13 to 16 feet (4 to 5 meters) in length and weighed around 1,100 to 1,500 pounds (500 to 700 kg). It was heavily armored, with a bony, knobby covering on its back, sides, and tail, as well as bony plates protecting its head.
Like other ankylosaurs, Gargoyleosaurus was herbivorous, feeding on plants with its beaked mouth and grinding teeth. Its powerful tail was likely used as a defensive weapon against predators.
Gargoyleosaurus is known from several well-preserved skeletons, including one that was discovered in 1996 in Montana and is now on display at the Museum of the Rockies. Its fossils have helped scientists better understand the evolutionary history of ankylosaurs and their unique adaptations for defense.