Dracopelta

Name: Dracopelta ‭(‬Dragon shield‭)‬.
Phonetic: Dray-coe-pel-tah.
Named By: P.‭ ‬M.‭ ‬Galton‭ ‬-‭ ‬1980.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Ornithischia,‭ ‬Thyreophora,‭ ‬Ankylosauria.
Species: D.‭ ‬zbyszewskii‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: Uncertain due to lack of remains,‭ ‬but possibly somewhere around the two meters long mark.
Known locations: Portugal‭ ‬-‭ ‬Farta Pao Formation,‭ ‬Freixial Member.
Time period: Late Tithonian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Ribs,‭ ‬thirteen dorsal‭ (‬back‭) ‬vertebraeand five osteoderms‭ (‬scutes‭)‬.

       While palaeontologists are certain that Dracopelta was an ankylosaur,‭ ‬no one knows for certain if‭ ‬the genus was a nodosaurid or an actual ankylosaurid‭ (‬an actual member of the Ankylosauridae‭)‬.‭ ‬Nodosaurid is perhaps the most likely answer given that we know that out of these two groups nodosaurids appeared first.‭ ‬Ankylosaurids by contrast don’t seem to have become common until the Cretaceous,‭ ‬particularly the late Cretaceous given‭ ‬from‭ ‬what we have been able to tell about other fossil finds of these kinds of dinosaurs.‭ ‬The only way that we could really be certain however is by finding a well preserved skull and/or establishing the presence or confirmed absence of a tail club‭ (‬ankylosaurids have tail clubs,‭ ‬nodosaurids don’t‭)‬,‭ ‬but unfortunately these parts were missing from the holotype.

Further reading
-‭ ‬Partial skeleton of Dracopelta zbyszewskii n.‭ ‬gen.‭ ‬and n.‭ ‬sp.,‭ ‬an ankylosaurian dinosaur from the Upper Jurassic of Portugal.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Géobios‭ ‬13‭(‬3‭) ‬-‭ ‬P.‭ ‬M.‭ ‬Galton‭ ‬-‭ ‬1980.



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