|1st Species||Gastonia burgei|
|2nd Species||Gastonia lorriemcwhinneyae|
|Time Range||126-125 mya|
|Location||United States of America|
|Name Meaning||Rob Gaston's animal|
|Physical Dimensions||4.6 meters long|
Gastonia is a nodosaurid ankylosaurian dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of the United States of America. It was named in 1998 by James Kirkland. It was one of the best preserved nodosaurids, and its remains have helped us gain a general idea of what they looked like.
Gastonia was a broad, robust thyreophoran with 4 erect legs and an almost completely armored body. It had a wide skull with a small beak in front of its mouth, as well as large, thorn-like spikes running down its back and the sides of its body. Most of its body would have been covered in scaly skin, with a large clump of osteoderms covering its lower back.
Gastonia was an herbivore, feeding on leaves. Its wide snout was used for browsing on plants low to the ground, and the many cheek teeth in the back of its mouth were used for processing plants.
So far, all we know about Gastonia is that the many scutes on its back were used for defense (particularly against large predators like Utahraptor), and it also may have used them for intraspecific combat during the mating season (where the back spikes would be used for intimidation, and rival males would have head-pushing contests in order to determine who was the strongest); as well as this, due to a small bonebed containing a few individuals grouped together; we can assume that the ankylosaurs moved in groups.