Gargoyleosaurus (meaning "gargoyle lizard") is one of the earliest ankylosaurs known from reasonably complete fossil remains. Its skull measures 29 centimetres (11 in) in length, and its total body length is an estimated 3 to 4 metres (9.8 to 13.1 ft). It may have weighed as much as 1 tonne (2,200 lb). The holotype was discovered at the Bone Cabin Quarry West locality, in Albany County, Wyoming in exposures of the Upper Jurassic (Kimmeridgian to Tithonian stages) Morrison Formation.
The type species, G. parkpinorum (originally G. parkpini) was described by Ken Carpenter et al. in 1998. A mounted skeletal reconstruction of Gargoyleosaurus parkpinorum can be seen at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Gargoyleosaurus was present in stratigraphic zone 2 of the Morrison Formation.
|Fossil skeleton, Denver Museum of Nature and Science|
Carpenter et al. 1998
Carpenter et al. 1998
The holotype specimen of Gargoyleosaurus parkpinorum was collected by Western Paleontology Labs in 1996 and is currently held in the collections of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver, Colorado. Besides the holotype, two other partial skeletons are known (although not yet described). The holotype consists of most of the skull and a partial postcranial skeleton. The specimen was originally described as Gargoyleosaurus parkpini by Carpenter, Miles and Cloward in 1998, then renamed G. parkpinorum by Carpenter et al. in 2001, in accordance with ICZN art. 31.1.2A.
Much of the skull and skeleton has been recovered, and the taxon displays cranial sculpturing, including pronounced deltoid quadratojugal and squamosal bosses. The taxon is further characterized by a narrow rostrum (in dorsal view), the presence of seven conical teeth in each premaxilla, an incomplete osseous nasal septum, a linerarly arranged nasal cavity, the absence of an osseus secondary palate, and, as regards osteoderms, two sets of co-ossified cervical plates and a number of elongate conical spines.
Vickaryous et al. (2004) place Gargoyleosaurus parkpinorum within the Family Ankylosauridae of the Ankylosauria and are in agreement with most previous phylogenetic hypotheses, which place the genus as the sister group to all other ankylosaurids (i.e., members of the Ankylosauridae). These studies however, only utilized the skull, whereas many of the distinctive features of the family Polacanthidae are in the postcranial skeleton.
Acantholipan is a genus of herbivorous nodosaurid dinosaur from Mexico from the early Santonian age of the Late Cretaceous. It includes one species, Acantholipan gonzalezi.Ankylosauridae
Ankylosauridae () is a family of armored dinosaurs within Ankylosauria, and is the sister group to Nodosauridae. Ankylosaurids appeared 122 million years ago and went extinct 66 million years ago during the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event. These animals were mainly herbivorous and were obligate quadrupeds, with leaf-shaped teeth and robust, scute-covered bodies. Ankylosaurids possess a distinctly domed and short snout, wedge-shaped osteoderms on their skull, scutes along their torso, and a tail club.Ankylosauridae is exclusively known from the northern hemisphere, with specimens found in western North America, Europe, and East Asia. The first discoveries within this family were of the genus Ankylosaurus, by Peter Kaiser and Barnum Brown in Montana in 1906. Brown went on to name Ankylosauridae and the subfamily Ankylosaurinae in 1908.Ankylosaurinae
Ankylosaurinae is a subfamily of ankylosaurid dinosaurs, existing from the Early Cretaceous about 105 million years ago until the end of the Late Cretaceous, about 66 mya. Many genera are included in the clade, such as Ankylosaurus, Pinacosaurus, Euoplocephalus, and Saichania.Bienosaurus
Bienosaurus (meaning "Bien's lizard") is a genus of thyreophoran dinosaur from the Lower Jurassic (probably Sinemurian) Lower Lufeng Formation in Yunnan Province in China.Bissektipelta
Bissektipelta is a genus of herbivorous ankylosaurid dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous of Uzbekistan. Bissektipelta is monospecific, containing only the species B. archibaldi.Bone Cabin Quarry
Bone Cabin Quarry was a dinosaur quarry that lay approximately fifty-five miles northwest of Laramie, Wyoming near historic Como Bluff. During the summer of 1897 Walter Granger, a paleontologist from the American Museum of Natural History, came upon a hillside littered with Jurassic period dinosaur bone fragments. Nearby was a sheepherder's cabin built entirely out of fossil bones, hence the name "Bone Cabin Quarry." After Granger's discovery in late August 1897, the quarry was kept secret until the summer of 1898, when the manpower could be amassed to undertake a full-scale excavation. Bone Cabin Quarry was excavated from 1898 until 1905, when the productivity of specimens thinned. Some of the dinosaurs found at the Bone Cabin Quarry include Stegosaurus, Allosaurus and Apatosaurus. Gargoyleosaurus is also known from the Bone Cabin Quarry West locality.
From the Annual Field Report of the American Museum of Natural History, 1898:
On June 12th a rich strike was made in opening "Bone Cabin Quarry". This is where the larger part of the year's collection was secured. The work was arduous and additional help was needed. P. Kaisen was engaged at the end of June. The party stayed here until the close of the field season on October 1st.Denversaurus
Denversaurus (meaning "Denver lizard") is a genus of herbivorous nodosaurid ankylosaurian dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous (late Maastrichtian) of western North America. Although at one point treated as a junior synonym of Edmontonia by some taxonomists, current research indicates that it is a distinct nodosaurid genus.Gastonia (dinosaur)
Gastonia is a genus of herbivorous ankylosaurian dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of North America, around 125 million years ago. It is often considered a nodosaurid closely related to Polacanthus. Gastonia has a sacral shield and large shoulder spikes.Invictarx
Invictarx is a genus of herbivorous nodosaurid dinosaur from New Mexico dating from the early Campanian epoch of the Late Cretaceous.Kimmeridgian
In the geologic timescale, the Kimmeridgian is an age or stage in the Late or Upper Jurassic epoch or series. It spans the time between 157.3 ± 1.0 Ma and 152.1 ± 0.9 Ma (million years ago). The Kimmeridgian follows the Oxfordian and precedes the Tithonian.Late Jurassic
The Late Jurassic is the third epoch of the Jurassic period, and it spans the geologic time from 163.5 ± 1.0 to 145.0 ± 0.8 million years ago (Ma), which is preserved in Upper Jurassic strata.In European lithostratigraphy, the name "Malm" indicates rocks of Late Jurassic age. In the past, Malm was also used to indicate the unit of geological time, but this usage is now discouraged to make a clear distinction between lithostratigraphic and geochronologic/chronostratigraphic units.Mymoorapelta
Mymoorapelta ("Shield of Mygatt-Moore") is an ankylosaur from the Late Jurassic (Kimmeridgian-Tithonian) Morrison Formation (Brushy Basin Member) of western Colorado, USA. The taxon is known from portions of a disarticulated skull, parts of three different skeletons and other postcranial remains. It is present in stratigraphic zones 4 and 5 of the Morrison Formation.Nodosauridae
Nodosauridae is a family of ankylosaurian dinosaurs, from the Late Jurassic to the Late Cretaceous period of what are now North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Antarctica.Nodosaurus
Nodosaurus (meaning "knobbed lizard") is a genus of herbivorous ankylosaurian dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous, the fossils of which are found in North America.Polacanthinae
Polacanthinae is a grouping of ankylosaurs, possibly primitive nodosaurids. Polacanthines are late Jurassic to early Cretaceous in age, and appear to have become extinct about the same time a land bridge opened between Asia and North America.Polacanthines were somewhat more lightly armoured than more advanced ankylosaurids and nodosaurids. Their spikes were made up of thin, compact bone with less reinforcing collagen than in the heavily armoured nodosaurids. The relative fragility of polacanthine armour suggests that it may have been as much for display as defense.Tatisaurus
Tatisaurus is a genus of ornithischian dinosaur from the Early Jurassic from the Lower Lufeng Formation in Yunnan Province in China. Little is known as the remains are fragmentary.Tianzhenosaurus
Tianzhenosaurus (Tianzhen + Greek sauros="lizard") is a genus of ankylosaurid dinosaurs discovered in Tianzhen County, at Kangdailiang near Zhaojiagou Village, in Shanxi Province, China, in the Late Cretaceous Huiquanpu Formation. Thus far, a virtually complete skull and postcranial skeleton have been assigned to the genus, which is monotypic (T. youngi Pang & Cheng, 1998).
This was a medium-sized ankylosaurian, the skull measuring 28 cm (11 in) in length, with a total body length around 4 m (13 ft).
Vickaryous et al. (2004) placed Tianzhenosaurus within the Ankylosauridae, nested as the sister group to Pinacosaurus. Some authors have suggested that Tianzhenosaurus is actually a junior synonym of Saichania chulsanensis.Tithonian
In the geological timescale, the Tithonian is the latest age of the Late Jurassic epoch or the uppermost stage of the Upper Jurassic series. It spans the time between 152.1 ± 4 Ma and 145.0 ± 4 Ma (million years ago). It is preceded by the Kimmeridgian and followed by the Berriasian stage (part of the Cretaceous).Tsagantegia
Tsagantegia (; meaning "of Tsagan-Teg"; Tumanova, 1993) is a genus of medium-sized ankylosaurid dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia, during the Cenomanian stage.
The holotype specimen (GI SPS N 700/17), a complete skull, was recovered from the Bayan Shireh Formation (Cenomanian-Santonian), at the Tsagan-Teg ("White Mountain") locality, Dzun-Bayan, in the southeastern Gobi Desert, Mongolia. The genus is monotypic, including only the type species, T. longicranialis.