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Nodosaurus was one of the earliest armored dinosaurs discovered in North America: Two incomplete fossil skeletons (both missing the skull) of the animal were found in Kansas and Wyoming in the 19th century. The name, which means "knobbed lizard", was chosen by Othniel C. Marsh in 1889.
Nodosaurus was entirely herbivorous (plant-eating). It had a narrow head and small teeth, and would probably have struggled to chew fibrous plants - suggesting that either it ate only soft plants, or that its stomach may have been equipped with gastroliths (stones swallowed to help digestion) for mashing up plant material.
Nodosaurus was about 13 to 20 feet (4.0 to 6.1 meters) long, and weighed around 1 ton. It was protected from predators by bony plates in its skin, and may also have had spikes as well. However, unlike some of its armored relatives such as Ankylosaurus, Nodosaurus was not equipped with a club in its tail - so its defense seems to have been entirely passive - when attacked, it probably lowered itself to the ground, hiding behind its protective features, much like a modern day hedgehog.
Nodosaurus was a herbivore (plant-eater) that lived from 110 to 100 million years ago
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