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Gastonia burgei

OLogy Series
extinct animal
card
009

Gastonia burgei

OLogy Series
extinct animal

This primitive armored dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous lived with such dinosaurs as iguanodonts, Utahraptor, and giant sauropods. It had bony plates and spikes that served almost like armor. Four to five skeletons have been found along with thousands of bones and pieces of armor.

Paleontologists named this dinosaur Gastonia because:

its fossils were discovered in the country of Gastonia

Robert Gaston discovered the area where the fossils were found

this herbivore's diet is believed to have caused much stomach gas

Are you right?

Correct!

In 1988, Robert Gaston discovered this dinosaur in Grand County, Utah.

Paleontologists think Gastonia burgei was heavily armored to protect it from predators such as Utahraptor.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fact

Gastonia lived with the heavily armed Utahraptor and probably needed its armor as protection against it.

Gastonia burgei had a small club on the end of its tail for protection.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fiction

The fossil evidence shows that this dinosaur didn't have such a weapon, although spikes did line the sides of its tail.

Scientific Name: Gastonia burgei
Pronunciation: gas-TOH-nee-ah BER-jie
Named for: Robert Gaston
Locality Found: Grand County, Utah
Age: Early Cretaceous, 125 million years ago
Size: 4.5 to 6 meters (14 to 20 feet) long
Characteristics: This early ankylosaur is similar to the European dinosaur Polacanthus. Both had armored plates and spikes. The spikes were longest over the shoulders.

Image credits: Rick Spears.