Named By: Harry Govier Seeley - 1879.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Ornithischia, Thyreophora, Ankylosauria, Nodosauridae.
Species: A. curtonotus (type).
Known locations: England, Cambridgeshire - Cambridge Greensand.
Time period: Albian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Fragmentary remains, including vertebrae, ribs, hind leg and foot bones, pectoral girdle and partial humerus and partial dentary (lower jaw). Remains are possible those of a juvenile.
problem with most dinosaur remains from the Cambridge Greensand is that
they are incomplete representations of a living animal, and
collections of fossils can often be the mixed up remains of more than
one genus. In the past the genus of Anoplosaurus
has been accused
of being partially composed of ornithopod dinosaur remains, while the
others should belong to the genus Acanthopholis,
itself a dubious
genus of nodosaurid from the Cambridge Greensand. Current thinking
however reaffirms Anoplosaurus as a nodosaurid.
The lack of armoured
plates, commonly fossilised in armoured dinosaurs due to their
density, has been interpreted as being because the holotype remains
are of a still developing juvenile. This interpretation does fit in
with the relatively small size of the holotype remains.
A second species of Anoplosaurus was once named as A. major, and this was established upon three vertebrae previously assigned to Acanthopholis stereocercus. These three vertebrae were composed of one cervical (neck) and two caudal (tail) vertebrae, but later analysis found that the cervical vertebrae belonged to an ankylosaur (a kind of armoured dinosaur related to nodosaurs), while the caudal vertebrae belonged to an igaunodont (a very different kind of unarmoured ornithischian dinosaur). Because the type material for the species is based upon what is more commonly termed a fossil chimera, this species is no longer regarded as valid.
- On the Dinosauria of the Cambridge Greensand, Harry Govier Seeley - 1879.
- Notes on the British dinosaurs, Part IV: Acanthopholis, Baron Francis Nopcsa - 2009.
- A systematic review of ankylosaurian dinosaur remains from the Albian-Cenomanian of England, Xabier Pereda-Superbiola & Paul M. Barrett - 1999.