Minmi (After Minmi crossing, Australia)
Ralph Molnar - 1980
Estimated 3 meters long
M. paravertebra (type)
Australia, Minmi crossing
Early Cretaceous, 119-113 million years ago
Minmi is a genus of ankylosaurian dinosaur that lived during the early Cretaceous period, approximately 119 to 113 million years ago. It was named after Minmi Crossing, an area in Queensland, Australia, where the first fossilized remains of this dinosaur were discovered in 1964.
Minmi was a small ankylosaur, measuring about 3 meters (10 feet) in length, and weighing up to 600 kilograms (1,300 pounds). It was covered in bony plates and spikes for protection, typical of all ankylosaurs. However, what sets Minmi apart from other ankylosaurs is its unique armor, which consisted of narrow, closely packed plates that were more flexible and lightweight than the armor of other ankylosaurs. This may have allowed Minmi to move more quickly and efficiently.
Minmi was also known for its unusually small head, which had a beak-like mouth and small, leaf-shaped teeth. This suggests that it was primarily a plant-eater, feeding on low-lying vegetation. It likely moved on all four legs, and may have had a limited ability to defend itself against predators by swinging its spiked tail or retreating within its armored shell.
Overall, Minmi provides an important glimpse into the diversity of ankylosaurs during the early Cretaceous, and highlights the evolutionary adaptations that allowed these dinosaurs to thrive and survive in a variety of environments.