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Qilong's avatar

The Morrison Gargoyle



Part 4 of my Morrison Ornithischians Series.

One of the few ankylosaur species from the Morrison Formation, Gargoyleosaurus parkpinorum is an especially ornate one with preserved premaxillary dentition, a suggestion that the upper rostrum likely didn't have a beak, and which supposes that the upper beak has evolved multiple times in not such Ornithischia, but also Thyreophora, convergent with stegosaurs.

Ankylosaurs, despite being herbivores, were probably much more akin to dragons in appearance than any theropod, covered as they were in bony armor.

I should remind viewers that the reconstruction is hypothetical, it is not based on strict observation, but a projection from several soft-tissue markers and inference from the phylogenetic bracket. It is possible there was a muscle-less, soft-tissue "cheek" there, too, but as there is no fossil that yet supports this through direct observation (like a mummy), we are left with using the least speculation to resolve the morphology.

I mention more on this here: [link]
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MrGorsh's avatar
The lower jaw having a much more extensive beak kind of reminds me of Silesaurus :P For some reason I don't find the cheekless ornithischians that much convincing but I guess it all goes down to the same argument like good old "only theropods had non-scaly integument", just with nodosaurs being the example on the scene. :)