an armadillo sits in the desert
Like an armadillo, Edmontonia have been described as a tank. They were massive and slow-moving with heavily plated body armor and large shoulder spikes.  When danger arose, they would usually hunkered down and protected their soft underbelly, although it could cripple predators with its spikes if provoked.

Photo by Rich Anderson

a computer image of a spiny backed dinosaur
Edmontonia is named for the rock formation where this genus of dinosaur was first found near Edmonton, Alberta in Canada. This member of the nodosaur family (“knob lizard”) is part of the larger ankylosaur (“stiff joint lizard”) group of dinosaurs that were known for their armor and spikes.

Identification level: Genus
Edmontonia was a genus within the family Nodosauridae within the suborder Ankylosauria. An Edmontonia skull was discovered in the Talkeetna Mountains just south of Denali and is an example of an ankylosaur that may have made the tracks in the park.
a close up of a fossilized edmontonia track
What is for dinner?
Small ridged cheek teeth suggest that ankylosaurs browsed on low-growing plants like ferns and cycads. Since they lacked grinding teeth, it is probable that they swallowed their food into a digestive system that used fermentation. As with modern-day cows, this process likely resulted in large amounts of gas.

How do we know I lived in Denali?
A handful of tracks have been found in Denali that were likely made by an ankylosaur.
a size comparison that shows edmontonia was only a little taller than a human
How do I size up? - At 20 feet long and seven feet tall, Edmontia weighed in at about three tons and with its heavy armor resembled a modern army tanks.
Fun Fact
Some ankylosaurs had complex nasal passages. Do you think this helped them to make noises to communicate? Imagine the sounds made during the hustle and bustle of dinosaur “rush hour”.

Last updated: August 18, 2016

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