The Scelidosaurus was a herbivore dinosaur that lived during the Lower Jurassic Period, approximately 208 million years ago. The most known specimen of the Scelidosaurus was the Scelidosaurus harrisonii. This dinosaur also belonged to the Scelidosaurus family which consisted of similar types of dinosaurs.

Key facts

Scelidosaurus pronunciationSkel-EYE-doh-sore-us
What does Scelidosaurus mean?Limb lizard
Dinosaur typeAnkylosauria
On the menuHerbivore
Length13′ (4 meters)
Height5′ (1.5 meters)
Weight600 lbs (272 kilograms)
Life expectancyUnknown
Legs used to get aroundQuadrupedal
Estimated top speedUnknown
When they livedLower Jurassic Period, 208-194 million years ago.
Where they have been found?England

When & Where

In the year 1860, geologist James Frederick Jackson was able to recover the first fossil evidence of the Scelidosaurus. It consisted of a nearly complete skull and a skeleton.  More fossil evidence of the Scelidosaurus was also uncovered in parts of England in the 20th century.

Size & Weight

It reached a length of 13′ (4 meters), a height of 5′ (1.5 meters), and a weight of up to 600 lbs (272 kilograms).

Mobility & Diet

Mainly dependent on plant materials as their primary food. Fossil evidence suggested that this dinosaur also fed on low, scrubby plants using their long head and chewed on the food using their large gut.

Interesting Points

  • Their body armor contains spikes, called scutes that run along its back and are used mainly for protection against predators.
  • Only 7 different specimens have been discovered by paleontologists
  • The name was derived from the Greek words skelis/σκελίς meaning ‘rib of beef’ and sauros/σαυρος meaning ‘lizard’.

Featured Image Credit: Jack Mayer Wood, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons