This archived article was written by: Kara Heaton
May 2006, the world’s largest armored dinosaur ever to be discovered was found in Eastern Utah. Estimated to be 25 to 30 feet long and weighing six tons, the unnamed dinosaur, is about three times the size of the Gastonia burgei, another armored dinosaur, discovered in 1995.
The dinosaur is unnamed because “the naming process is very formal and takes a very long time.” Jeff Bartlett, the director of collections and research at the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum said. The names have to be properly formed and legal. The nodosaur – the species of the dinosaur – will probably not be named for another two and a half to three years.
An armored dinosaur has spikes and bony plates all along its back and sides. Bartlett described it as being a “dinosaurian tank and virtually indestructible.” Why then, did the dinosaur evolve to be so big? Was it because they were so indestructible, so successful, that they were able to grow that big? “We don’t know,” Bartlett said. There are a lot of questions from the past that are unanswered.
The dinosaur was found in an active quarry dig site on federal land by the CEU Prehistoric Museum staff. They are one of few staffs equipped and allowed to take care of the dinosaurs and other finds off federal Because they have taken so many bones out of the dig site, they still aren’t exactly sure how many they’ve found that belong to the new dinosaur. “Just a few bones have been found, but the ones that have been are awesome,” Bartlett remarked. “But the dinosaur bones from a nodosaur are very distinctive, so you know when you’ve found one.”
Because so few of the bones have been found, nothing is on display. There is a small display at the museum that compares the different sized nodosaurs.
The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week and is located at 100 east 100 north in Price.