[D] Sauropelta edwardsorum [Su] [sG] [T]
Cretaceous Early Cretaceous Late Aptian Albian Cenomanian
Ornithischia Thyreophora Eurypoda Ankylosauria Nodosauridae
Cloverly Formation, Wyoming, Montana, Cedar Mountain Formation, Utah, US
Genus - Typespecies - Skull
Sauropelta edwardsorum (Ostrom, 1970 - Olshevsky 1991) = Peltosaurus (Brown vide Chure & McIntosh, 1989)
Several partial skeletons, 1 crushed skull, numerous isolated postcranial elements and armor plates.
Parsons & Parsons, 2001, reported a skull MOR 1073, and additional postcranial material from the basal portion of Unit Vii of the Cloverly Formation, in the Middle Dome region of central Montana the remains are referred by the authors to Sauropelta edwardsi (holotype: AMNH 3032) which does not include a skull.
The oldest North American nodosaurid known from abundant material. It is characterized by premaxillarly teeth, absence of a secondary palate, separate atlas and axis, and a distinctive pattern of armor (Carpenter, 1984). The body armour is also quite well preserved in several specimens and seems to show transverse rows of alternating large low bony studs and smaller pebbly armour.
Shoulders, back, and tail where covered with horn-sheathed, bony cones interspersed with rows of smaller bony studs. Other primitive features were premaxillarly teeth (teeth in the top half of the beak); lack of a secondary palate ( a device aiding simultaneous breathing and eating); and unfused neck bones nearest the skull. like all nodosaurids. Spines probably also guarded the flanks, protecting the nodosaurid from an atack from the side. if ringed by enemies.
Originally named the species S. edwardsi, George Olshevsky corrected the spelling to S. edwardsorum in 1991 to conform to Latin grammar rules.