Polacanthids in Detail

    The skull of polacanthids is nearly as wide as long, very similar to the ankylosaurids.  Polacanthids muzzles could be either broad or narrow suggesting that some polacanthids were more selective croppers than others.  Along with the nodosaurids the polacanthids had the antorbital fenestrae, supratemporal fenestrae, but not the temporal fenestrae fussed shut.  The armour of the polacanthids consists of thin, triangular plates along the tail and side of the body.  The neck armour is similar to that of the ankylosaurids consisting of two rows of fused plates.  The scutes of armour on the back are in distinct alternating rows unlike the other families.  Polacanthids often had spines projecting from the shoulder area.  They were once thought to have a small bone club on their tails, but that notion has since been refuted.

This is the skull of Gastonia, the right is a view of the top of the skull.

Skeleton of Gastonia.  Notice the scutes of armor along the side of the body along with the spines in the shoulder area.

The following is a list of the different Genus of polacanthid:  This is only a partial list, more may exist or have been classified incorrectly. (i.e. as nodosauids).

Gargoyleosaurus, Hylaeosaurus, Mymoorapelta, Gastonia, Hoplitosaurus, Polacanthus

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