How Accurate is the New CollectA Polacanthus?

By |2024-03-20T16:10:33+00:00February 27th, 2024|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Uncategorized|0 Comments

A new 1:20 scale Polacanthus foxii model will be added to the CollectA Deluxe range this year. This armoured dinosaur was named in 1865. At the time, it was one of only a handful of armoured dinosaurs known to science. It was named before Stegosaurus (Marsh 1877) and Ankylosaurus (Brown 1908). The CollectA Polacanthus model represents the very latest scientific interpretation of this iconic dinosaur.

The Sacral Shield

This dinosaur is famous for its shield of armour located over the hips (sacral shield). This fused sheet of dermal armour was repaired and restored by Caleb Barlow (1882). He did a remarkable job considering the fossils had deteriorated and the work was regarded as a “hopeless undertaking” by the geologist John Whitaker Hulke. Most descriptions of the osteoderms and raised bosses associated with this sacral shield refer to four rows of osteoderms on each side of this pelvic shield. However, these features do not seem to be present in the fossil material.

CollectA Deluxe Polacanthus armour.
A close-up view of the sacral shield on the CollectA Polacanthus model. Damaged spikes are highlighted by red arrows. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

The shield on the CollectA Polacanthus model does reflect the morphology of the fossil material. It closely follows the layout of dermal armour as indicated in lithographs of the actual fossils that were produced in the late 19th century.

To view the range of CollectA Deluxe figures in stock at Everything Dinosaur: CollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Animal Models.

No Presacral Spines on the Model

Hulke described the specimen based on the restored material in 1887. The Hungarian polymath Franz Nopcsa created the first skeletal reconstruction and hypothesised that tail armour consisted of eleven rows of parallel spines that became smaller towards the distal end of the tail. The CollectA Polacanthus model has eleven rows of caudal spines. However, unlike Nopsca’s illustration, the armour is orientated horizontally reflecting the arrangement of tail armour associated with better known nodosaurids like Gastonia burgei.

He also suggested that there were two rows of upward pointing presacral spines. The first reconstruction of the skeleton occurred in 1905 when the fragmentary fossils of P. foxii were put on public display.

CollectA Deluxe Polacanthus.
The new for 2024 CollectA Deluxe 1:20 scale Polacanthus figure. The model lacks presacral spines. Whilst the configuration of dermal armour remains unknown, it is likely that the spines and spikes were located on the flanks and were directed outwards rather than upwards.

CollectA Polacanthus Model

The CollectA Polacanthus model does not have vertically orientated presacral spines. Instead, the model has spines that are located on the flank and point outwards. This is a more modern depiction of the armour and reflects the fact that much of the fossil material previously associated with this genus has been reassigned.

Polacanthus illustration.
An illustration of Polacanthus from circa 1950. Polacanthus is depicted as lizard-like with round, conical and upward pointing armoured spikes. This reconstruction of Polacanthus foxii is now regarded as outdated. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

The CollectA Polacanthus model is due in stock at Everything Dinosaur later this year.

Visit the award-winning and user-friendly Everything Dinosaur website: Dinosaur Toys and Prehistoric Animal Models.