Different Interpretations of Ankylosaurs

The recent introduction of new armoured dinosaur models from two well-known and globally respected manufacturers gives Everything Dinosaur team members the opportunity to compare and contrast the differing interpretations of two ankylosaurs.

In September, Schleich launched their re-designed model of Saichania (S. chulsanensis) a Late Cretaceous ankylosaur from Mongolia.  This model is part of the Schleich Saurus range.  Bullyland, also of Germany (Schleich is a German company), launched their version of Ankylosaurus (A. magniventris), a better known dinosaur, one that dates from the very end of the dinosaurs (Late Cretaceous – Maastrichtian faunal stage).  The Bullyland Ankylosaurus depicts an animal that lived in North America, it forms part of the company’s “Museum Line” model range.

A Picture of the Two Dinosaur Models (Schleich and Bullyland)

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

In the picture, the Bullyland Ankylosaurus is in the background with the Schleich Saichania in the foreground.

Bullyland Ankylosaurus

To view the Bullyland Ankylosaurus and the Schleich Ankylosaurus as well as other dinosaur models and figures: Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models.

Ankylosaurs are quadrupedal, herbivorous ornithischian dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous, distinguished by their heavy, extensive dermal armour and bony tail clubs.  The largest known genus is Ankylosaurus itself, reaching lengths in excess of 10 metres whilst the Saichania was slightly smaller with a maximum length of around 7 metres.  The Bullyland model depicts a more lithe and agile looking dinosaur, whilst the Schleich representation of Saichania, shows it as a more squat and heavy-set animal.  The dermal scutes in the Saichania are raised into a series of horn-shaped projections whilst the armour on the Bullyland Ankylosaurus takes on more of a carapace appearance.  The position and orientation of dermal armour in dinosaurs is often difficult to deduce given the fragmentary nature of fossil discoveries and the lack of fossil material being found in association or articulation.

As with many other dinosaur genera, skull characteristics play a substantial role in determining the taxonomic classification.  In one genus of ankylosaur; Shanxia (Chinese Ankylosaurus – S. tianzhenensis), it has been distinguished from other ankylosaurs in part by the slope and position of the skull horns.

A Close Up of the Two Ankylosaur Models

Close inspection of the dinosaur models.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Comparing Ankylosaurus Models

In the picture above, the Bullyland Ankylosaurus is shown on the left and the Schleich Saichania is depicted on the right.  The shape of the muzzle, the beak and the teeth can all help palaeontologists to speculate on the feeding habits of these large herbivores.  The snout and beak of Ankylosaurus was particularly broad compared to other thyreophorans, indicating an unfussy diet for this low browser.