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Armored dinosaurs were some of the earliest dinosaurs named, including the ankylosaur Hylaeosaurus in 1833 and Stegosaurus in 1877. But these armored dinosaurs, or thyreophorans, have been the least studied group because they lack the visceral appeal of Tyrannosaurus and the fossil abundance of ceratopsians and hadrosaurs. The incredible diversity of armored dinosaurs has only recently been appreciated: the discovery of new stegosaurs in the Jurassic of China and the United States, and of new ankylosaurs from the Lower Cretaceous of North America have led to renewed interest in thyreophorans. The Armored Dinosaurs brings together the latest studies by an international group of dinosaur paleontologists and provides descriptions of the original specimens of Hyaleosaurus and Stegosaurus, names new thyreophorans, and redescribes historically important specimens from Europe.
Foreword - Walter P. Coombs, Jr.: an Affectionate Perspective. Margery Chalifoux Coombs.
Part I. Thyreophorans
Chapter 1. Scelidosaurus, the Earliest Complete Dinosaur. David B. Norman.
Chapter 2. Tooth Wear and Possible Jaw Action of Scelidosaurus harrisonii Owen and a Review of Feeding Mechanisms in Other Thyreophoran Dinosaurs. Paul M. Barrett.
Part II. Stegosauria
Chapter 3. New Primitive Stegosaur From The Morrison Formation, Wyoming. Kenneth Carpenter, Clifford A. Miles, and Karen Cloward
Chapter 4. Othniel Charles Marsh and the Myth of the Eight-spiked Stegosaurus. Kenneth Carpenter and Peter M. Galton.
Chapter 5. Endocranial Casts of the Plated Dinosaur Stegosaurus (Upper Jurassic, Western Usa): a Complete Undistorted Cast and the Original Ones of Othniel Charles Marsh. Peter M. Galton.
Chapter 6. Possible Stegosaur Dermal Armor from the Lower Cretaceous of Southern England. William T. Blows.
Chapter 7. Post-traumatic Chronic Osteomyelitis in Stegosaurus Dermal Spikes. Lorrie A. McWhinney, Bruce M. Rothschild and Kenneth Carpenter.
Part III. Ankylosauria
Chapter 8. South American Ankylosaurs. Rodolfo A.Coria and Leonardo Salgado.
Chapter 9. Skull of the Polacanthid Ankylosaur Hylaeosaurus armatus Mantell 1833 From the Lower Cretaceous of England. Kenneth Carpenter.
Chapter 10. Reappraisal of the Nodosaurid Ankylosaur Struthiosaurus austriacus Bunzel from the Upper Cretaceous Gosau Beds of Austria. Xabier Pereda Suberbiola and Peter M. Galton.
Chapter 11. Disarticulated Skull of a New Primitive Ankylosaurid From the Lower Cretaceous of Eastern Utah. Kenneth Carpenter, James I. Kirkland, Don Burge and John Bird.
Chapter 12. Carlsbad Ankylosaur (Ornithischia, Ankylosauria): An Ankylosaurid And Not a Nodosaurid. Tracy L. Ford and James I. Kirkland.
Chapter 13. Variation in Specimens Referred to Euoplocephalus tutus. Paul Penkalski
Chapter 14. Evidence of Complex Jaw Movement in the Late Cretaceous Ankylosaurid, Euoplocephalus tutus (Dinosauria: Thyreophora). N. Rybczynski and M.K. Vickaryous.
Chapter 15. Cranial Ornamentation of Ankylosaurs (Ornithischia: Thyreophora): Re-appraisal of Developmental Hypotheses. M.K. Vickaryous, A.P. Russell, and P.J Currie.
Chapter 16. Armor of the Small Ankylosaur, Minmi. Ralph E. Molnar.
Chapter 17. Dermal Armor of the Polacanthine Dinosaurs. William T. Blows.
Chapter 18. Mounted Skeleton of the Polacanthine Ankylosaur Gastonia burgei. Robert W. Gaston, Jennifer Schellenbach, and James I. Kirkland.
Chapter 19. An Ankylosaurian Cololite from the Lower Cretaceous of Queensland, Australia. Ralph E. Molnar & H. Trevor Clifford.
Chapter 20. Global Distribution of Purported Ankylosaur Track Occurrences. Richard T. McCrea, Martin G. Lockley, and Christian A. Meyer.
Chapter 21. Phylogenetic Analysis of the Ankylosauria. Kenneth Carpenter.
Kenneth Carpenter is the dinosaur paleontologist for the Denver Museum of Natural History and author of Eggs, Nests, and Baby Dinosaurs. He is co-editor of Mesozoic Vertebrate Life, Dinosaur Systematics, Dinosaur Eggs and Babies, and The Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation.
"Dinosaurs are divided into several groups, and most will recognize the carnivores, including Tyranosaurus and Velociraptor; herbivores like Apatosaurus (once Brontosaurus); and duckbills and horned dinosaurs, among them Saurolophus and Triceratops. But another group, the armored dinosaurs, is much less familiar, partly because their fossils are not as common as those of other dinosaurs and because they are studied less. The armored dinosaurs, the Ankylosauria, make up at least 30 genera and are widely distributed worldwide. Some 21 papers, all essentially original research on stegosaurs and ankylosaurs, are included; a few provide descriptions of new species as these new fossils are either significant for their primitiveness or location. Most of the papers are anatomical and functional analyses of armored dinosaur anatomy, particularly the peculiar blade-like teeth and jaw movement. Papers discuss endocranial (gross brain structure) anatomy; stegosaur osteomyelitis; the first disarticulated skull of an ankylosaur (particularly useful because most ankylosaur material is represented by large clumps of bone); and a cololite (preserved gut contents) with the most informative material on the diet of any herbivorous dinosaurs. Several papers examine characteristic bony scutes of dinosaurs; one is devoted to their trackways. A final paper provides a phylogenetic analysis of the group. Many photographs and drawings; thorough combined subject and taxonomic index. Professionals."
– D. Bardack, emeritus, University of Illinois at Chicago, April 2002, Choice.