Struthiosaurus

Name: Struthiosaurus ‭(‬Ostrich lizard‭)‬.
Phonetic: Stru-fe-o-sore-us.
Named By: Emanuel Bunzel‭ ‬-‭ ‬1871.
Synonyms: Crataeomus,‭ ‬Danubiosaurus,‭ ‬Leipsanosaurus,‭ ‬Pleuropeltis,‭ ‬Rhodanosaurus,‭ ‬Hoplosaurus.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Ornithischia,‭ ‬Nodosauridae,‭ ‬Struthiosaurinae.
Species: S.‭ ‬austriacus‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬languedocensis,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬transylvanicus.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: About‭ ‬2.2‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Austria‭ ‬-‭ ‬Coal-Bearing Complex Formation,‭ ‬Grünbach Formation.‭ ‬France.‭ ‬Romania‭ ‬-‭ ‬Sânpetru Formation,‭ ‬Sard Formation,‭ ‬Sebes Formation.‭ ‬Spain‭ ‬-‭ ‬Sierra Perenchiza Formation,‭ ‬Vitoria Formation.
Time period: Campanian to Maastrichtian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Numerous individuals.

       Struthiosaurus seems to have been fairly common across Europe during the Late Cretaceous,‭ ‬a time when much of continental Europe was more like an island chain.‭ ‬Originally based upon fragmentary Austrian material,‭ ‬many genera named by Harry Govier Seeley late in the nineteenth century have now been synonymised with Struthiosaurus.‭ ‬This combined with multiple fossil discoveries from other countries such as Romania have seen the Struthiosaurus genus expanded to include three species and be known by fossil material from over a dozen individuals.
       Struthiosaurus was a very small nodosaur with fossils seemingly coming from individuals from about two meters,‭ ‬to two meters,‭ ‬twenty centimetres in length.‭ ‬This is likely a reflection of Struthiosaurus living on islands which had reduced food availability.‭ ‬By growing smaller,‭ ‬Struthiosaurus would have been much less likely to exhaust the limited food sources,‭ ‬and so this could be chalked up as a case of insular dwarfism.‭ ‬Still,‭ ‬Struthiosaurus retained their armour skin,‭ ‬probably as a result of the continued presence of predatory dinosaurs,‭ ‬possibly dromaeosaurid theropods.
       Struthiosaurus should not be confused with Struthiomimus,‭ ‬an ornithomimid dinosaur that was living in North America at a similar time that Struthiosaurus was living in Europe.

Further reading
-‭ ‬Notice of a fragment of a reptilian skull from the Upper Cretaceous of Grünbach.‭ ‬Quarterly Review of the Geological Society of London‭ ‬26:394.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Emanuel Bunzel‭ ‬-‭ ‬1871.
-‭ ‬The reptile fauna of the Gosau Formation preserved in the Geological Museum of the University of Vienna‭ ‬-‭ ‬Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London‭ ‬37‭(‬148‭)‬:‭ ‬620-707.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Harry Govier Seeley‭ ‬-‭ ‬1881.
-‭ ‬Leipsanosaurus n.‭ ‬gen.‭ ‬ein neuer thyreophore aus der Gosau.‭ ‬-Földtani Közlöny‭ ‬48:‭ ‬324-328.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Franz Nopsca‭ ‬-‭ ‬1918.
-‭ ‬A new species of Struthiosaurus‭ (‬Dinosauria:‭ ‬Ankylosauria‭) ‬from the Upper Cretaceous of Villeveyrac‭ (‬southern France‭)‬.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology‭ ‬23‭(‬1‭)‬:‭ ‬156-165.‭ ‬-‭ ‬G.‭ ‬Garcia‭ & ‬X.‭ ‬Pereda-Suberbiola‭ ‬-‭ ‬2003.



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