Hylaeosaurus (forest lizard)
Gideon Mantell - 1833
Estimated 3 -7 meters long
H. armatus (type)
England. Furhter remains from Europe have been attributed to the genus, but many of these are now considered to be from other genera.
Early Cretaceous, 136-125 million years ago
Hylaeosaurus was a genus of armoured dinosaur that lived during the Early Cretaceous period, approximately 136-125 million years ago. Its name, “forest lizard,” refers to the habitat in which it lived, which was likely a forested environment.
Hylaeosaurus was a heavily-armoured dinosaur, with bony plates, or scutes, covering its back and tail. These plates would have provided protection against predators, although they would have also made the dinosaur very heavy and cumbersome. Hylaeosaurus also had large spikes on its shoulders and hips, which may have been used as a defensive weapon.
Hylaeosaurus was a herbivorous dinosaur, and its diet likely consisted of low-lying vegetation, such as ferns, horsetails, and other primitive plants. Its beak-like mouth would have been used to slice through tough plant material.
Hylaeosaurus is one of the first armoured dinosaurs to be described, and it played an important role in the early development of the field of paleontology. Its fossils were first discovered in 1832 in the Wealden Formation of England, and it was named and described by the famous paleontologist Richard Owen in 1833. The discovery of Hylaeosaurus, along with the related genera Iguanodon and Megalosaurus, helped to establish the concept of dinosaurs as a distinct group of ancient reptiles, and sparked a great deal of interest in the study of these fascinating animals.