Scelidosaurus (limb lizard)
Richard Owen - 1859
Estimated 4 meters long
S. harrisonii (type)
Early Jurassic, 193-183 million years ago
Scelidosaurus, meaning “limb lizard,” is a genus of herbivorous dinosaur that lived during the Early Jurassic period, about 193-183 million years ago. Its fossils have been found in England, and it is known from several well-preserved specimens.
Scelidosaurus was a quadrupedal dinosaur that measured up to 4 meters (13 feet) in length and weighed around 200-250 kilograms (440-550 pounds). It had a heavily armored body, with bony plates and spikes covering its back and sides. It also had large spines on its shoulders and a tail with bony rings that may have acted as a weapon or a means of defense against predators.
Scelidosaurus had a relatively small head with a beak-like mouth and numerous teeth. It likely fed on low-growing vegetation such as ferns and cycads. Its teeth suggest that it may have been able to grind tough, fibrous plants.
Scelidosaurus is an important dinosaur because it is one of the earliest known ornithischian dinosaurs, a group that includes many of the famous herbivorous dinosaurs such as Triceratops and Stegosaurus. Its heavily armored body is also a characteristic feature of the thyreophoran dinosaurs, a suborder that includes the ankylosaurs and stegosaurs.
Overall, Scelidosaurus is an important and fascinating dinosaur that has contributed to our understanding of the early evolution of ornithischian dinosaurs and the ecology of herbivorous dinosaurs during the Early Jurassic period.