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Gastonia
Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Reptilia
Subclass Diapsida
Superorder Dinosauria
Order Ornithischia
Suborder Ankylosauria
Family Nodosauridae
Genus Gastonia
1st Species Gastonia burgei
2nd Species Gastonia lorriemcwhinneyae
Other attributes
Time Range 126-125 mya
Location United States of America
Name Meaning Rob Gaston's animal
Physical Dimensions 4.6 meters long
Dietary Classification Herbivore

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.

PhysiologyEdit

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.

DietEdit

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.

EcologyEdit

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.

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