世界共通発音：ソーロペルタ saw roe pel ta
Ornithischia / Genasauria / Thyreophoroidea / Eurypoda / Ankylosauria /
Family: Nodosauridae /
FIRST DESCRIBED: 1970 / FOUND: North America: USA / Length: 8 m / WEIGHT 3.5 t /
FOOD: Plants / YOUNG: Eggs /
LIVID: Early Cretaceous 125 100 million years ago
Sauropelta lived in the western area of North America during the Early Cretaceous period. At that time, the climate was rather similar to today, with ice and snow present in the polar regions. A large inland sea covered a huge area east of the Rocky Mountains, and coal forming swamps bordered forested areas.
Flowering plants were becoming common and the region supported great herds of bird hipped dinosaurs. Like many other armoured dinosaurs, Sauropelta found these conditions ideal.
It was a truly massive creature which walked on all fours with its belly close to the ground. The back legs were quite a lot longer than the front limbs, and the tail was roughly the same length as the body. As the name suggests, 'Lizard Shield' had a full cover of armour over its back and tail, and the plates that protected the neck were especially spiny.
Weighing in at roughly the same weight as a major predator a fully grown Sauropelta would have been a very difficult target for even the most aggressive meat eater.