Temporal range: Lower Cretaceous
|Artist's rendering of Acanthopholis.|
Acanthopolis (meaning "spiny scales") was an armoured ankylosaurian dinosaur. This quadrupedal (walked on four legs), plant-eating dinosaur had its armour in rows of oval plates set into its skin. It also had spikes jutting out of its neck and shoulder area along the spine. It was about 15 feet long (4 m) and weighed roughly 380 kg.
The first specimen was found in 1865 by fossil collector John Griffiths on the shoreline at Folkestone. The stratum was Cambridge Greensand, a formation in the Lower Cretaceous of southern England. At the time England was part of a huge tropical river delta, and the Greensand was laid down just offshore. It seems that dinosaurs were on the shoreline or the river delta, and sometimes their bodies washed out to sea.