Pinacosaurus (Plank lizard)
Charles W. Gilmore - 1933
Estimated 4 meters long
P. grangeri (type), P. mephistocephalus
China, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. Mongolia - Bayan Mandahu Formation, Djadokhta Formation. Possibly in other areas of Asia, particularly in areas associated with known regions
Late Cretaceous, 70 million years ago
Pinacosaurus, meaning “plank lizard,” was a genus of ankylosaurid dinosaur that lived in what is now Mongolia during the Late Cretaceous period, about 70 million years ago.
The name Pinacosaurus refers to the animal’s flat, plank-like armor plates that covered its body, which would have provided protection from predators. These plates were formed from bony plates fused together to form a continuous armor.
Pinacosaurus was a relatively small ankylosaurid, measuring around 4 meters (13 feet) in length and weighing up to 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds). It had a low, wide body and a broad, armored head with a beak-like snout for cropping vegetation.
Like other ankylosaurids, Pinacosaurus had a club-like tail that it could use to defend itself from predators. It also had sharp, leaf-shaped teeth that were adapted for cutting tough vegetation.
Fossils of Pinacosaurus have been found in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia, along with other dinosaur fossils such as Velociraptor and Protoceratops. These fossils provide valuable information about the diversity of Late Cretaceous dinosaurs and their ecosystems.