Animantarx

Name: Animantarx ‭(‬Living citadel‭)‬.
Phonetic: An-e-man-tarks.
Named By: K.‭ ‬Carpenter,‭ ‬J.‭ ‬I.‭ ‬Kirkland,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬L.‭ ‬Burge‭ & ‬J.‭ ‬Bird‭ ‬-‭ ‬1999.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Ornithischia,‭ ‬Thyreophora,‭ ‬Ankylosauria,‭ ‬Nodosauridae.
Species: A.‭ ‬ramaljonesi‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: Skull about‭ ‬25‭ ‬centimetres long.‭ ‬Body length uncertain due to lack of remains,‭ ‬but comparison to other nodosaurs suggests up to about‭ ‬3‭ ‬meters for the total body length.
Known locations: USA,‭ ‬Utah‭ ‬-‭ ‬Cedar Mountain Formation,‭ ‬Messentuchit Member.
Time period: Albian/Cenomanian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Lower jaw,‭ ‬back of the skull and some cervical‭ (‬neck‭) ‬and dorsal‭ (‬back‭) ‬vertebrae.

       While Animantarx may not be the best known nodosaurid dinosaur,‭ ‬it is a contender for having one of the coolest dinosaur names.‭ ‬Unfortunately Animantarx is only known by an incomplete skull,‭ ‬lower jaw and some vertebrae,‭ ‬which means that reconstructions are reliant upon other nodosaur parts and a best guess by the reconstructions.‭ ‬Fortunately nodosaurs tend to be quite similar in their general appearance,‭ ‬being‭ ‬squat,‭ ‬quadrupedal and‭ ‬having‭ ‬a covering of bony armour plates along the back and sides‭ ‬of their body‭ ‬with possible large spikes around the shoulders.‭ ‬In this respect nodosaurs resembled their more distant relatives the ankylosaurs,‭ ‬though nodosaurs lacked their tail clubs,‭ ‬and it‭’‬s reasonable to assume that Animantarx did not have a tail club either.
       Animantarx come from the Cedar Mountain Formation which is also home to other dinosaurs such as Gastonia,‭ ‬Cedarpelta and Peloroplites,‭ ‬the latter two actually coming from the same Mussentuchit Member as‭ ‬Animantarx,‭ ‬suggesting that there may have shared the same habitats at the same time.‭ ‬Sauropelta is also thought to be in the Cedar Mountain Formation,‭ ‬but later thinking suggests that these fossils might belong to Peloroplites.‭ ‬Aside from these armoured dinosaurs,‭ ‬Animantarx may have lived alongside sauropods like Abydosaurus and ornithopods like Tenontosaurus,‭ ‬Eolambia and Zephyrosaurus.
       The type species name A.‭ ‬ramaljonesi is in honour of Ramal Jones who discovered the first Animantarx remains.‭ ‬Ramal’s wife Carol,‭ ‬had the type species of Eolambia named after her.

       Animantarx has been considered to be a close relative to the better known Edmontonia.

Further reading
-‭ ‬Ankylosaurs‭ (‬Dinosauria:‭ ‬Ornithischia‭) ‬of the Cedar Mountain Formation,‭ ‬Utah,‭ ‬and their stratigraphic distribution.‭ ‬In:‭ ‬Gillette,‭ ‬D.‭ (‬Ed.‭)‬,‭ ‬K.‭ ‬Carpenter,‭ ‬J.‭ ‬I.‭ ‬Kirkland,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬L.‭ ‬Burge‭ & ‬J.‭ ‬Bird‭ ‬-‭ ‬1999.
-‭ ‬Phylogenetic analysis of the Ankylosauria.‭ ‬In:‭ ‬Carpenter,‭ ‬K.‭ (‬Ed.‭)‬,‭ ‬Kenneth Carpenter‭ ‬-‭ ‬2001.



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