Nodosaurus came from the category of Ankylosaurian dinosaurs and were a genus of Nodosauridae dinosaurs that lived during the Late Cretaceous period along the plains of North America.

Key Facts

Nodosaurus pronunciationNo-doe-sore-us
What does Nodosaurus mean?The name Nodosaurus means “knobbed lizard”, it was based on its physical appearance of being covered with armored plates. It was named by Othniel Charles Marsh in 1889.
Dinosaur typeAnkylosauria
On the menuHerbivore
Length20 feet (6.096 m)
Height9.84 feet (3m)
Weight1 ton (907.185 kg)
Life expectancyThere’s not enough data that shows how long is the average lifespan of Nodosaurus; however, they lived around 163 to 65 million years ago.
Legs used to get aroundQuadrupedal
Estimated top speedThese dinosaurs were known to have very less running speed compared to other lightweight dinosaurs.
When they livedNodosaurus lived on the earth between 163 to 65 million years ago. Their ancestors existed in the middle of the Jurassic period and the rest were during the Late Cretaceous period.
Where they have been found?These dinosaurs used to inhabit several parts of the United States of America and some in Europe (Kansas, Wyoming, Alberta). They used to be in warm and tropical areas, and sometimes even marsh areas to get some rainfall.

When & Where 

One incomplete specimen of Nodosaurus was discovered in the Frontier Formation of Wyoming. The first fossil was named Nodosaurus by Othniel Charles Marsh in 1889. There were three other specimens with no skulls that have been exposed in Kansas and Wyoming.

Size & Weight

The length of the Nodosaurus was about 20 feet (6.096 m). Approximately, such size is twice as large as the Amazonian manatee. Its weight was around 1 ton (907.185 kg) and 9.84 feet (3m) tall. They are believed to be heavier than the Dusky dolphins. Being heavyweight made them move slowly in the presence of danger from predators. 

Mobility & Diet

Nodosaurus are plant-eating dinosaurs hence, their main diet was plant materials such as eating flowers, grasses,  herbs, shrubs and vegetable leaves. Since they are very heavy and it won’t be possible to escape their predators, they tend to rely on the thick bony plates and knobs covering their back to fight back and defend themselves. 

Interesting Points

  • There were about five nodosaur specimens that have been found in some areas in Alabama. 
  • Nodosaurus were known to have very good defense reflexes but their immunity and lifespan wasn’t that good
  • Their ancestors existed in the middle of the Jurassic period
  • Nodosaurus became extinct around 110 million years ago due to natural disasters
  • They preferred to live in the regions of grasses and terrestrial habitats
  • Did you know that they are using their osteoderms and they need to be heavily armored to protect themselves and to survive attacks from their predators? Some of them were the Tyrannosaurus rex (T.rex), Aublysodon and Troodon.