Make Love and War main content.

Make Love and War

Part of the Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries exhibition.

© Raul Martin


The armored dinosaurs, or ankylosaurs, were covered in bony plates, horns and spikes that formed a suit of armor from head to tail. Many of these features were almost certainly used for defense. For instance, these animals probably swung their massive tail clubs at attackers. But some features, like horns that pointed up, rather than out toward an oncoming predator, might have served another purpose: to make males more attractive to females.

Ankylosaurs like Euoplocephalus may have used their large tail clubs to fight off predators like tyrannosaurs, relatives of Tyrannosaurus rex. Some scientists have speculated that these features could have also been used in species recognition or to intimidate rivals.

Fast Facts: Euoplocephalus

  • Pronunciation: "you-plo-SEPH-ah-lus"
  • LENGTH: 6 meters (20 feet)
  • HEIGHT: 1-2 meters (4-5 feet)
  • WEIGHT: around 2 tons
  • Food: plants
  • When it lived: 75 million years ago