Gastonia

Gastonia is an Ankylosaurian dinosaur that was about 15 ft long and weighed about 1 ton. It is believed that it used to settle along the plains of North America where most of its fossils were retrieved in Utah. 

Key Facts

DomainDescription
Gastonia pronunciationGas-toe-knee-ya
What does Gastonia mean?Gastonia was named after Robert Gaston, the first one to discover the genus.
Dinosaur typeAnkylosauria
On the menuHerbivore
Length15 to 20 feet (4.5 to 6 meters)
Height5 feet
Weight1 ton (1000 kg)
Life expectancyEven if the exact lifespan of Gastonia is not yet known, most of their type lived for an average of 71 years.
Legs used to get aroundQuadrupedal
Estimated top speedThe estimated speed of this dinosaur is about 8 miles per hour.
When they livedGastonia existed on Earth about 125-130 million years ago during the early Cretaceous period.
Where they have been found?Since most of its fossils were found in Utah, they might have lived along the plains of North America where there are grasslands, swamps and woodlands.

When & Where

Gastonia’s fossils were first discovered in 1989 in Grand County, Utah by the fossil hunter, Robert Gaston. It was then named by James Kirkland in 1998 that was named after Gaston. The remains were retrieved in the same quarry where Utahraptor was found, causing paleontologists to assume that it was hunted by it. 

Size & Weight

Gastonia was about 15 to 20 feet (4.5 to 6 meters) long and around 5 feet tall. It approximately weighs around 1 ton or 1000 kg making it as heavy as Black Rhinoceros. 

Mobility & Diet

This dinosaur is a plant eater that uses its toothless beaks to crush soft plant materials. It is also known to be not aggressive and didn’t prey on other dinosaurs or animals. 

Interesting Points

  • Gastonia had a wicked tail where it had a row of triangular plates with sharp edges. 
  • Paleontologists are still studying if this dinosaur used to have butted heads, since one braincase discovered showed how great it is in absorbing shock and the skull was very thick. Unlike the other Ankylosaurian dinosaurs, Gastonia’s eyes were facing directly forward, which means they might stare at their opponents while knocking noggins.
  • Paleontologists were able to discover 3 different species of Gastonia
  • It is believed that this dinosaur is as long as a train car
  • Gastonia is said to be heavy as Black Rhinoceros
  • Its main predator is the Utahraptor
  • It had a toothless beak that’s used for crushing plant materials
  • Gastonia had a myriad of spikes that run down on its back and even had a tail spike that’s a good defense for its predators