new dinosaur dreadnoughts appeared

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Sudden extinction interrupted the evolution of dinosaur armor at the end of the Jurassic when the true stegosaurs died out totally or at least became very rare. But as the Cretaceous Period dawned, new dinosaur dreadnoughts appeared: the nodosaurs. (realistic dinosaur model)Nodosaurs shared some characteristics with the stegosaurs—their hips were high and their deltoid muscles were strongly developed for sideways maneuver. But on the whole, the nodosaur’s approach to defense was much more massive.

 

A complete flexible pavement of small bony plates armored the entire upper surface of nodosaurs—head, neck, torso, and tail. None of these plates were anything like the tail triangles of the stegosaurs, but some nodosaur species had broad-based plates topped by tall conical spines. (dinosaur factory)Nodosaur armor plating was therefore much more continuous than that of stegosaurs, and their hip bones had expanded into an immense solid roof protecting the upper surface of the abdomen.

 

Some paleontologists believe nodosaurs defended themselves passively. According to this view, these massively armored monsters employed their carpet of plates much like a mobile bomb shelter. (life size dinosaur for sale)Under attack, they would merely hunker down on the Cretaceous forest floor, legs folded under their body, to wait out the tyrannosaur’s attack. But there is ample reason to believe nodosaurs could become actively dangerous antagonists and turn the tables on their attacker. What made some nodosaurs dangerous was their sharp shoulder spikes. Mounted on broad bony bases embedded in the skin of the shoulder stood long, sharply pointed horn cores that curved forward.

 

In life, an outer covering of horn made these shoulder spikes as long and deadly as the tail spikes of stegosaurs had been. Like stegosaurs, nodosaurs had very strong elbow muscles (the triceps muscle group) perfect for quick, forward lunges. (lifelike animatronic dinosaur)Altogether, the forward end of a nodosaur resem-bled the gigantic, short-legged warhorse of medieval times, coated with armor, and ready to charge with wickedly sharp lances jutting forward from either side of its head.