Nodosaurus ("knobbed lizard") was a herbivorous dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous, the fossils of which are found in North America.
The nodosaurid ankylosaur was about 13 to 20 feet (four to six meters) long. It was an ornithischian dinosaur with bony dermal plates covering the top of its body. It may have had spikes along its side as well. It had four short legs, five-toed feet, a short neck, and a long, stiff, clubless tail. The head was narrow, with a pointed snout, powerful jaws, and small teeth.
It perhaps ate soft plants, as it would be unable to chew tough, fibrous ones; or alternatively it processed the latter by gastroliths and its enormous intestinal apparatus.
It is thought that without a club on its tail, Nodosaurus was left without much in terms of defense. When threatened, it probably dropped to the ground so that only its armored back and sides were exposed, much like modern-day hedgehogs.
Two incomplete specimens have been discovered in Wyoming and Kansas, and no skulls. One of the first armored dinosaurs to be discovered in North America, Nodosaurus was named by Othniel Charles Marsh in 1889.
Various nodosaur scutes found in the Eastern US have a good chance of being identified as, and probably are, scutes of the genus Nodosaurus.
Nodosaurus is named after Nodosauridae, one of the two subgroups of Ankylosauria, and in most classifications, it's counted in this group.
Nodosaurus in The Land Before Time
This is the type of dinosaur Nod is who appears in the 3rd movie and the TV episode "The Great Egg Adventure".
- Palmer, D., ed (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. pp. 158–159. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.
- Cretaceous Dinosaurs of the Southeastern United States, by David T. King Jr.
- Nodosaurus at DinoData