Wuerhosaurus adult and young by a pool

Armoured dinosaurs

While early armoured dinosaurs had bony scutes like crocodiles, later forms took armour to the extremes, evolving large plates, spikes, clubs and carapaces. Covering yourself in heavy armour proved to be a very successful anti-predation strategy, as armoured dinosaurs evolved during the early Jurassic and lasted right up until the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous period. Though there were many variations and modifications within each type, they came in two basic forms: the stegosaurs with their rows of spikes or plates along the spine, and the more heavily amoured ankylosaurs.

Scientific name: Thyreophora

Rank: Suborder

Common names:

shield bearers

Explore this group


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

When they lived

Discover the other animals and plants that lived during the following geological time periods.

What killed them

Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction
The Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction - also known as the K/T extinction - is famed for the death of the dinosaurs. However, many other organisms perished at the end of the Cretaceous including the ammonites, many flowering plants and the last of the pterosaurs.