Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Reptilia
Subclass Diapsida
Superorder Dinosauria
Order Ornithischia
Suborder Ankylosauria
Family Nodosauridae
Subfamily Polacanthinae
Genus Polacanthus
1st Species Polcanthus foxii
Other attributes
Time Range 130-125 mya
Location United Kingdom
Name Meaning Many thorns
Physical Dimensions 6 meters long
Weight 2.3 tonnes
Dietary Classification Herbivore

Polacanthus is a nodosaurid ankylosaurian thyreophoran dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of the United Kingdom. It was named in 1865 by Richard Owen. It was one of the first dinosaurs to be discovered, and it, much like most other early-discovered dinosaurs, remains incomplete and is modeled off its relatives.


Polacanthus 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. Most of its body would have been covered in scaly skin, with a large clump of osteoderms covering its lower back.


Polacanthus 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 Polacanthus is that the many spikes running down its back were used for defense, as predators such as Eotyrannus and Neovenator would have had a hard time biting into spiky hide.

In popular cultureEdit

Polacanthus was featured in the 4th episode of the 1999 documentary Walking with Dinosaurs, where it is shown migrating alongside a herd of Iguanodon. Unfortunately, the migration takes place in what is now the United States, while Polacanthus truly lived in England.

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