Baby Propanoplosaurus (PRO-pan-OP-loh-SORE-us)

An artist's reconstruction of a juvenile nodosaur. It has a small, flat head.  Spikes protrude from the neck and along the sides of the body.

Click to zoom.

Propanoplosaurus was a type of nodosaur (NO-duh-SORE) -- low-built, heavy plant-eaters that walked on four legs. Nodosaurs had armor plates and spines that grew in the skin of the neck, back, legs, and tail. They were ankylosaurs (an-KY-low-SORES), but did not have a bony club at the end of their tail like some ankylosaur species. Originally identified locally from isolated fossil teeth and bones, new discoveries include fossil tracks and the skeleton of a hatchling. The hatchling could be identified as a nodosaur because the shapes of its skull and arm bones match those of adult nodosaur skeletons discovered in other locations. This new discovery was named Propanoplosaurus marylandicus in recognition of its discovery in Maryland.

The fossil of a baby nodosaur. Impressions and casts of the skull, ribs and arm bones are visible in a slab of rock.

Hatchling Propanoplosaurus fossil. Click to zoom

Fossil track of a nodosaur. The track is wide and shows the imprint of five stubby toes.

Nodosaur track (outlined on right). Click to zoom.