Cedarpelta was a herbivore living in what is now North America during the Lower Cretaceous period. It was the first dinosaur to be discovered near the Price River in Carbon County, Utah. While visiting the surrounding area, scientists Evan Hall and Sue Ann Bilbey discovered the fossilized remains of what they suspected was an ankylosaurid. The type species was later named by paleontologist Kenneth Carpenter in 2001. 

Key Facts

Cedarpelta pronunciationsee-dar-pel-tuh
What does Cedarpelta mean?Cedar [Mountain Formation] shield
Dinosaur typeAnkylosaur
On the menuHerbivorous
Length26 feet (8 meters)
Height8 feet 4 inches (2.5 meters)
WeightAbout 10,000 lbs (4.5 tons)
Life expectancyUnknown
Legs used to get aroundQuadruped
Estimated top speed9 km/h  (5.6 mph)
When they livedLower Cretaceous era 142-127 million years ago
Where they have been found?USA

When & Where

The remains of the Cedarpelta were discovered by two geologists, Evan Hall and his counterpart Sue Ann Bilbey, who were visiting an excavation in the surrounding area. The remains were unearthed at the CEM site close to the Price River in Carbon County, Utah. This site of discovery lies at the bottom of the Mussentuchit Member. 

Size & Weight

In terms of size, the Cedarpelta was about thirty feet long and weighed approximately 4.5 tons. It had four toes on each foot with no claws. The tail was held up by a bony ridge at the end called a pygostyle that also supported the head when walking or running.

Mobility & Diet

Cedarpelta was a herbivore, eating plants and leaves from trees. Its diet also included fruit and other plant matter. These conclusions were arrived upon based on the presence of premaxillary teeth and an opening on the side of the skull. It was a quadruped that could reach speeds of up to 9km/h.

Interesting Points

  • It is one of the only known ankylosaurs with skull bones that are not entirely fused together. 
  • The Cedarpelta portrays a mix of both basal and derived traits. 
  • There are only 2 known skulls of the Cedarpelta to date.

Featured Image Credit: National History Museum