Illustration of Euoplocephalus

Euoplocephalus was an ankylosaur from the Late Cretaceous.


Euoplocephalus was one of the largest ankylosaurs, measuring 6 meters in length and weighing approximately 2 tonnes.[1] Like others in its family, Euoplocephalus was known for its armor plating and tail club. Its armor was so extensive that it even covered tiny parts of the body such as its eyelids.[2]


Originally, Euoplocephalus was thought to be a type of stegosaur, but it was later reclassified properly as a type of ankylosaur.[3] A study in 2013 found Euoplocephalus to be the sister taxon of Ankylosaurus.[4]


Fossils of Euoplocephalus were first discovered in 1897 by paleontologist Lawrence Lambe in what is now Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta. He described it in 1902 as Stereocephalus tutus.[5] However, the genus name already belonged to a type of beetle, so Lambe had to rename it in 1910 to Euoplocephalus tutus.[6]

Over the following years, many other ankylosaurid dinosaurs have been found from roughly the same time and place, and they were all reassigned to the Euoplocephalus genus. Recently, however, these genera are being resurrected.[7]


Euplocephalus was a herbivore, and had a broad muzzle suited for eating different types of plants.[8] A study in 2001 found that Euoplocephalus used complex jaw movements in order to shear food.[9]


  1. Bakker, R. T. (1980) "Dinosaur heresy-dinosaur renaissance". In D. K. R. Thomas, and E. C. Olson (eds.), A cold look at the warm blooded dinosaurs, pp. 351–462. Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado.
  2. Coombs W. (1972). "The Bony Eyelid of Euoplocephalus (Reptilia, Ornithischia)". Journal of Paleontology 46 (5): 637–50. JSTOR 1303019..
  3. C.W. Gilmore, 1917, "Brachyceratops, a ceratopsian dinosaur from the Two Medicine Formation of Montana, with notes on associated fossil reptiles", United States Geological Survey Professional Paper 103: 1-45
  4. Arbour V.M. and Currie P.J., 2013, "Euoplocephalus tutus and the Diversity of Ankylosaurid Dinosaurs in the Late Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada, and Montana, USA", PLoS ONE 8(5): e62421. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0062421
  5. L. M. Lambe. (1902). "New genera and species from the Belly River Series (mid-Cretaceous)". Geological Survey of Canada Contributions to Canadian Palaeontology 3 (2): 25–81.
  6. L. M. Lambe. (1910). "Note on the parietal crest of Centrosaurus apertus and a proposed new generic name for Stereocephalus tutus". The Ottawa Naturalist 24: 149–51.
  7. Penkalski, P.; Blows, W. T. (2013). "Scolosaurus cutleri (Ornithischia: Ankylosauria) from the Upper Cretaceous Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta, Canada". Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences: 130110052638009. doi:10.1139/cjes-2012-0098. edit
  8. K Carpenter (1982). "Skeletal and dermal armor reconstruction of Euoplocephalus tutus (Ornithischia: Ankylosauridae) from the Late Cretaceous Oldman Formation of Alberta". Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 19 (4): 689–97. doi:10.1139/e82-058.
  9. Rybczynski, N. and M. K. Vickaryous. (2001) "Evidence of Complex Jaw Movement in the Late Cretaceous Ankylosaurid, Euoplocephalus tutus (Dinosauria: Thyreophora)". Pp. 299-317 in K. Carpenter (ed.). The Armored Dinosaurs. Indiana University Press, Bloomington.

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