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Australian Thyreophorans

Thyreophorans were small to very large in size, with armour plates and spikes, and were quadrupeds (walked on four legs).

They were herbivores (plant-eaters).

Thyreophorans probably ate low growing foliage. Their teeth were small, triangular and flat. Thyreophorans include the ankylosaurs and stegosaurs and are often referred to as ‘armoured dinosaurs’. Some thyreophorans had complex nasal passages that looked like ‘crazy straws’, which would have helped them stay cool.

0.71 meters to
3 – 4 meters

Estimated hip height.

3.5 meters to 8.5 meters

Estimated lengths (approximately).

They had relatively small brains for their body size and the hip shape similar to modern birds. The thyreophorans that made tracks in the Broome Sandstone were medium-sized.

Six thyreophoran track types have been found on the Dinosaur Coast.

These were made by three medium-bodied forms, one large-bodied form and two very large-bodied forms:

Morphotypes are distinct types of tracks without formal names.

  • Garbina roeorum (the Roe family’s shield)
  • cf. Garbina
  • Luluichnus mueckei (Muecki’s mark of Lulu)
  • cf. Luluichnus
  • Broome thyreophoran morphotype A
  • Broome thyreophoran morphotype B

A ‘cf.’ in front of an ichnotaxon name means that the track looks like that type of track but is probably different. It is too poorly known to be sure.

Well known thyreophorans

  • Anklyosaurus magniventris
  • Stegosaurus stenops and in Australia
  • Kunbarrasaurus ieversi (formerly known as Minmi paraverteba).

What did thyreophorans look like?

Palaeontologists examine clues that extinct dinosaurs have left behind, found in fossils and evidence of animal activity, such as footprints & trackways. This is what ‘Broome’ thyreophorans may have looked like.

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View Track type images & sizes

Garbina roeorum

Luluichnus mueckei

Broome thyreophoran morphotype A

Broome thyreophoran morphotype B

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Broome Dinosaurs