Gastonia

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2023-07-18 Snargl 0 minute 0 second

Where does the Gastonia live?

Gastonia was a dinosaur that lived in North America during the Early Cretaceous period, about 139 to 134.6 million years ago.
It was a herbivorous ankylosaurian, which means it had a heavily armored body and a club-like tail.
Gastonia had a sacral shield, a large plate of bone that covered its hips, and long spikes on its shoulders and sides.

Gastonia fossils have been found in Utah, USA, in the Cedar Mountain Formation.
This formation is divided into several members, each representing a different geological age and environment.
Gastonia fossils have been found in two of these members: the Yellow Cat Member and the Ruby Ranch Member.

The Yellow Cat Member is the oldest and lowest part of the Cedar Mountain Formation, dating to the Valanginian stage, about 139 to 134.6 million years ago.
It consists of sandstones and mudstones that were deposited in a coastal plain with rivers, lakes, and swamps.
The Yellow Cat Member is where the first Gastonia fossils were discovered, including the type specimen of Gastonia burgei.
This species was named after Robert Gaston, a paleontologist who found the skull, and Donald L. Burge, the director of the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum.
Gastonia burgei was found in a bonebed, a site where many individuals of the same species died together, along with fossils of Utahraptor and an iguanodontid.

The Ruby Ranch Member is the second oldest and second lowest part of the Cedar Mountain Formation, dating to the Hauterivian stage, about 132 to 129 million years ago.
It consists of sandstones and mudstones that were deposited in a fluvial and lacustrine environment, with rivers, lakes, and floodplains.
The Ruby Ranch Member is where the second Gastonia species was described, Gastonia lorriemcwhinneyae.
This species was named after Lorrie McWhinney, a volunteer who found the site where the fossils were collected.
Gastonia lorriemcwhinneyae was also found in a bonebed, possibly representing a group that died of drought or drowning.

Gastonia was one of the most common dinosaurs in the Cedar Mountain Formation, and one of the earliest and most primitive ankylosaurs.
It shared its habitat with other dinosaurs such as Utahraptor, Iguanacolossus, Cedarosaurus, and Astrodon.
Gastonia was probably a low-browsing herbivore that fed on ferns, cycads, and conifers.
It used its armor and spikes to defend itself from predators and rivals.

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What does the Gastonia look like?

Gastonia was a herbivorous dinosaur that lived in North America during the Early Cretaceous period, about 139 to 134.6 million years ago.

It belonged to the group of armored dinosaurs called ankylosaurs, which had bony plates and spikes covering their bodies.

Gastonia had a toothless beak, a sacral shield over its hips, and large shoulder spikes.

It also had rows of smaller spikes along its back and flanks.

Its head was wide and flat, with a distinctive notch in the upper beak.

It was about 4 to 6 meters long and weighed about one ton.

Gastonia was probably a low-browsing herbivore that fed on ferns and other plants.

It may have used its spikes and shield to defend itself from predators, such as the large raptor Utahraptor, which was found in the same area.

Some additional sentences are:
  • Gastonia is one of the best-known basal ankylosaurs, as many skulls and skeletons have been found in Utah.

  • Gastonia was named after Robert Gaston, the paleontologist who discovered it, and the species name burgei honors Donald L.
    Burge, the director of the museum where the fossils are housed.

  • Gastonia had some primitive features, such as a lack of a tail club, and some unique features, such as a broad sacral shield, that make its exact relationship to other ankylosaurs unclear.

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