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Granddaddy of the armored dinosaurs

By ScottHartman
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Scutellosaurus, the most primitive armored dinosaur (at least the most primitive that actually has armor). Although it wasn't very big (maybe 5' in length...and most of that's tail!) it lead to big things.

Technical details: The skull is only known from a few scraps of the snout and the lower jaw, so most of it is based on other basal ornithischians. Lots of armor was preserved (304 pieces with the holotype alone!) but it wasn't articulated. I've followed the rules we see in thyreophoran armor in general, and in Scelidosaurus in particular, but ultimately it's still conjecture. Other than that the specimen is reasonably well known, and some of the missing bits are filled in by other specimens. 

P.S. Armored dinosaurs are cool and all, but illustrating all that armor is...um...tedious would be the nicest way of saying it.
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Comments38
anonymous's avatar
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hypo-potamus's avatar
hypo-potamusHobbyist Digital Artist
Scutellosaurus lawleri by hypo-potamus  My version of this Scutellosaurus
TrilobiteCannibal's avatar
TrilobiteCannibalHobbyist Traditional Artist
Both stegosaurs and ankylosaur use their tail as a weapon and this guy's looks fairly flexible and has some impressive osteoderms on it so maybe something as basal as these guys used their tail as a weapon?
ScottHartman's avatar
ScottHartmanProfessional Digital Artist
I should emphasize that we don't know for sure how the osteoderms are arranged (they were in clear association with the two specimens, but they weren't articulated), but I agree that it seems likely that the tail would have served as a weapon of some sort (even if only as a last resort).
TrilobiteCannibal's avatar
TrilobiteCannibalHobbyist Traditional Artist
Okay :)
kingspacegodzilla94's avatar
kingspacegodzilla94Student Artisan Crafter
Hehehe yeah making sculptures of armored dinos  is also tedious CURSE YOU! and if I not careful ... I will have to start it ALL OVER AGAIN  KaBoom ... PS. I M A GREAT FAN OF YOURS :squee: :squee: :squee:  , your skeletal dino drawings give me a lot of improve and a better way to make ore accurate dino drawings and sculptures  :D (Big Grin) :D (Big Grin) :D (Big Grin) 
grisador's avatar
This is definitely surprising; to think prehistoric tanks come from such a lightweight species :o
ScottHartman's avatar
ScottHartmanProfessional Digital Artist
Right? Go home evolution, you're drunk!
grisador's avatar
Exactly ! I wonder what caused a huge club in the tail ? Mutation from eating too much mushrooms ? :D
ScottHartman's avatar
ScottHartmanProfessional Digital Artist
To be fair the club doesn't show up until way up in Ankylosaurinae, so whatever the sequence it's far removed from Scutellosaurus.
grisador's avatar
It's odd to see what evolution could lead to :o
ScottHartman's avatar
ScottHartmanProfessional Digital Artist
Yeah it is!
Macrocanthrosaurus's avatar
MacrocanthrosaurusHobbyist Traditional Artist
I can sort of see how the last group of scutes and the vertebrae on the tail would have fused to form the club on the ankylosaurids.  As always, great job!
ZEGH8578's avatar
What´s the status concerning the bristles? Or am I totally confuzzled? Apparently skin-imprints had dots or holes, indicating bristle-growth? Either way, totally neato, I always liked Scutellosaurus
ScottHartman's avatar
ScottHartmanProfessional Digital Artist
Are you thinking of Thescelosaurus? I don't know of any skin impressions for Scutellosaurus.
ZEGH8578's avatar
Hmmm, I might have confused them then, although I´m pretty sure it´s not Thescelosaurus I´m thinking of. There was something about a skin impression with little holes in them, but I can´t remember where I read about it. It was about primitive thyeroporans
ScottHartman's avatar
ScottHartmanProfessional Digital Artist
Scelidosaurus was found with some skin impressions, maybe that was it?
ZEGH8578's avatar
It's possible. In the end it is purely anecdotal information, and I couldn't get any wiser googling around myself, which is why I kinda tried my luck here :D
EclecticManta's avatar
EclecticMantaProfessional Digital Artist
Despite the tedious task of adding all that armor, this still looks great as always. Thank you for these and for the informative comments. :)
ScottHartman's avatar
ScottHartmanProfessional Digital Artist
Totes...

...the kids these days still say that, right? ;)
EclecticManta's avatar
EclecticMantaProfessional Digital Artist
Haha totelly my puns are awful
Pterosaur-Freak's avatar
Yes! My favourite little herbivore. Thank you for making this, it will come in very handy!
ScottHartman's avatar
ScottHartmanProfessional Digital Artist
You're welcome.
XStreamChaosOfficial's avatar
XStreamChaosOfficialHobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome!
anonymous's avatar
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