The scientific tourist #271 — Gargoyleosaurus

Coming to you from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, it’s Gargoyleosaurus (“gargoyle lizard”):

Gargoyleosaurus

To be specific, this is a fossil of Gargoyleosaurus parkpinorum (mislabeled on the museum placard as parkinorum), some 145 million years old.  The display’s signage doesn’t indicate if this is a cast, or the original skeleton — but at the very least, the holotype specimen (not complete, but nearly so) of the species is held in the DMNS collections.

Gargoyleosaurus is one of the earliest well-known (i.e., with essentially complete fossil remains) ankylosaurs — armored plant-eaters, built low to the ground.  While only standing about a meter (3 feet) tall, Gargoyleosaurus is thought to have grown up to 4 meters (13 feet) in length, and weighed up to a tonne (2,200 lb).

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