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Armored Dinosaur

Trackmaker of the Moyenisauropus footprint

Armored Dinosaur

Diet : Herbivorous

Habitat : Floodplain and plains with rivers and lakes, the warm and humid climate

Length : About 10-13 feet (3-4 meters)

Weight : About 600 lb (270 kg)

The name Moyenisauropus means tracks from Moyeni region of Lesotho in southern Africa where P. Ellenberger described first tracks of that kind in 1974. These tracks show intermediate morphologic pattern placed between tiny basal ornithischian tracks of Anomoepus and robust the Stegopodus track of stegosaurian origin. Moyenisauropus trackmaker were normally bipedal, but sometimes also quadrupedal. This animal had functionally tridactyl foot with the first digit toe reduced in length. The footprints vary between 7 and 10 inches (18-25 cm). In 1989, K. Padian described Scelidosaurus remains from the Kayenta Formation of Arizona. Ten years later G. Gierliński (1999) showed that Moyenisauropus fits to scelidosaurid foot pattern. In 2006, M. Lockley and G. Gierliński reported Moyenisauropus tracks from the Navajo Formation of southern Utah.

Scelidosaurus (meaning “limb lizard”) is among the first described dinosaurs in 1861 by Richard Owen who introduced the term “dinosaurs”. This Early Jurassic dinosaur, known from England pretends as a trackmaker example of Moyenisauropus tracks. The depositional environment from which the other disarticulated remains of Scelidosaurus have been found (Kayenta Formation, the U.S.A.) has been interpreted as relatively broad floodplain habitats drained by moderate, sediment-rich streams (J.M. Clark & D.E. Fastovsky 1986).


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