Pinacosaurus is a genus of medium-sized Ankylosaurian dinosaurs that is from the order Ornithischia that was named in 1999. The first fossil was discovered in Mongolia. 

Key Facts

Pinacosaurus pronunciationPin-ah-kow-sore-us
What does Pinacosaurus mean?The name Pinacosaurus means “plank lizard” in reference to the bone tiles protecting their head, and the nostrils that had several small depressions in between small holes.
Dinosaur typeAnkylosauria
On the menuHerbivore
Length5 meters
Height0.45 meters
Weight2000 kg (4 409.2 lbs)
Life expectancyThe exact life expectancy of Pinacosaurus is still unknown, but they existed between 85 million to 66 million years ago.
Legs used to get aroundQuadrupedal
Estimated top speedBecause of limited data sources, the estimated moving speed of this dinosaur is unknown. Since they are said to be heavy and large dinosaurs, it’s assumed that they might be slow movers.
When they livedThis dinosaur lived during the Santonian to Campanian stage of the Late Cretaceous period, about 85 million to 66 million years ago.
Where they have been found?Their remains were retrieved in Asian countries specifically China and Mongolia. Though paleontologists are unsure what habitat did they live in, they assumed that they used to settle in dry desert since the remains were recovered in a desert in Shabarakh, Usu, Mongolia.

When & Where

It was in 1923 when the first Pinacosaurus fossil was discovered by Walter W. Granger during the expedition of the American Museum of Natural History in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, specifically in the site of Djadokhta Formation, Flaming Cliffs of Shabarakh, Usu. It was then described and named by Charles Whitney Gilmore. 

Size & Weight

Pinacosaurus measures about 5 meters in length and 0.42 meters tall. This medium-sized dinosaur is said to be 2000 kg (4 409.2 lbs) heavy. 

Mobility & Diet

Pinacosaurus were assumed to be plant eaters since their teeth were small, which indicates that they used to chomp soft plant materials from the dry region plants. Because of the limited data sources, it’s a bit difficult to assume if they used to be the aggressive type of dinosaur. However, its tail club might be used in defending itself against its predators. 

Interesting Points

  • Did you know that almost all of the Pinacosaurus fossils were retrieved in bone beds and it is said that they used to live and die together? This implies that this herbivorous dinosaur might have lived in herds or groups.
  • Pinacosaurus lived in a terrestrial habitat.
  • Above 35 incomplete specimens were found.
  • They had between two and five additional holes in each nostril.
  • It is believed that it’s one of the most numerous Asian Ankylosaurs of the several numbers of fossils discovered.
  • It is said that they got extinct during the Late Cretaceous Period.