Jurassic Early Sinemurian
Lower Lias, Charmouth, England; ?Kayenta Formation, Arizona, US
Genus - Typespecies - Skull
Nearly complete skull with associated postcrania. Scelidosaurus has also been reported from Tibet [David Lambert, A Field Guide to Dinosaurs, p.173]. A skull fragment called Lusitanosaurus liasicus, from Portugal, may also belong to this genus.
("limb lizard") Lightly armoured a small head on a neck that was relatively long for an armoured dinosaur, and a long, heavy body that was highest at the hips and underpinned by four sturdy limbs. Bony tendons probably strengthened and stiffened the tail. The hip bones and armoured skin recall those of the primitive North American ornithischian Scutellosaurus.
The teeth resemble those of Stegosaurs.
Scutellosaurus grew to at least 13 ft (4m) in length and is now known not only from the original skeleton, but also from a very small pertial skeleton found in a nodule of rock earlier this century; and some imperfect fragments discovered in 1980. And in 1985 a group of amateur collectors (Simon Barnsley, David Costain and Peter Langham) discovered and excavated a very exciting new skeleton from Charmouth. As a result of all these discoveries, Scelidosaurus is now a reasonably well understood dinosaur.
Tatisaurus was recently synonymized with Scelidosaurus, with Tatisaurus oehleri renamed [Scelidosaurus oehleri] Lucas, S.G. 1996. The thyreophoran dinosaur Scelidosaurus from the Lower Jurassic Lower Lufeng Formation, Yunnan, China. pp. 81-85, in Morales, M. (ed.),The Continental Jurassic. Museum of Northern Arizona Bulletin 60. However, he did not demonstrate that the similarities were derived rather than shared primitive thyreophoran characters, so this synonymy is a bit weak at present.
Scelidosaurus has also been reported from Tibet [David Lambert , A Field Guide to Dinosaurs, p.173].