Box heads

Have an ankylosaur skull. Euoplocephalus apparently (I would not claim to know much about ankylosaurs so I’m going with what it said on the sign).

You want *more* than this? OK, well ankylosaurs are actually quite interesting but in their own way they rather suffer from the same problem as pterosaurs. That is that their taxonomy is rather problematic since a lot of the characters you might expect to find to help sort them out are concealed. In pterosaurs its due to the way the bones are sutured in the head and because they have a very conservative bauplan, in ankylosaurs it’s the armour getting in the way. As you can see here, the cranium is essentially a box with holes for the eyes and nostrils and so you can see how it might be tricky to find out how all the underlying bones are moving around and changing shape (evolutionarily) and thus work out which features various taxa have in common or were they differ (or even if two animals are the same species or not).

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1 Response to “Box heads”

  1. 1 Pinacosaurus « Dave Hone’s Archosaur Musings Trackback on 07/01/2010 at 9:27 am
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