Polacanthus was a herbivorous ornithischian dinosaur that grew 4 to 5 metres (13.1 to 16.5 ft) long. As a polacanthine nodosaur dinosaur, Polacanthus was distantly related to the much bigger Ankylosaurus, which, however, lived much later, was much larger than Polacanthus, and was, instead, an ankylosaurid. Edmontonia from the WWD movie, on the other hand, was a closer relative to Polacanthus than to Anklylosaurus.
Facts[edit | edit source]
A lumbering, spiky plant-eater that accompanies the herds of Iguanodons presumably, for mutual protection. Polacanthus fed on conifers, its teeth and digestive system being less advanced, and also to avoid competing with the Iguanodons.
Like Ankylosaurus, Polacanthus had armor and spikes, but like other nodosaurids, it lacked a tail club. Instead, it had additional spikes on the sides of its body armor, giving it extra reach and protection against such predators as Utahraptor: when confronted by them, Polacanthus would face them front-on (unlike the Ankylosaurus, who turned sideways instead to better use their tail club) and keep them away via its front spikes.
Classification[edit | edit source]
It was a polacanthine nodosaur, a group more successful in the early times of the ankylosaurs.
This subfamily/clade has been argued on occasion to be family/clade seprette from nodosaurs, but still closely related. This, however, is debated.
Portrayal in the series[edit | edit source]
Polacanthus is a minor character in the 4th episode of WWD. It is one of the less-known dinosaurs, and was probably presented in the show to represent the nodosaurs. It was shown interacting with Utahraptors in Europe, but this is incorrect, because Utahraptors never lived on that continent (in reality, Polacanthus would've interacted with Ornithodesmus, a native dromaeosaur). It was also shown following Iguanodon herds both in Europe and North America. While it is known that it lived in Europe, it has not yet been discovered in North America. It is more than likely that the North American Polacanthus was in reality a Gastonia, which actually was in contact with Utahraptor.
In Walking with... series[edit | edit source]
A Polacanthus is shown following herds of Iguanodon, possibly for extra protection or for easier assess to food - the two dinosaur species didn't show any complex interactions like modern mammals do, and when a pack of Utahraptors attacked the Iguanodons, the Polacanthus simply ignored them (and vice versa). However, Utahraptor didn't live in Europe and Polacanthus lived only in Europe, making this scene dubious. (The producers probably had Polacanthus confused with its American relative Gastonia.)
Polacanthus is one of the viewable dinosaurs in the app.
Appearances In Other Media[edit | edit source]
Primeval[edit | edit source]
Read more at the Anomaly Research Centre
Polacanthus makes a brief appearance in the novel The Lost Island where it had the same mannerisms as its WWD counterpart.
Jurassic Park[edit | edit source]
Read more at the Jurassic Park Wiki
Merchandise[edit | edit source]
A toy of Polacanthus was made by Toyway for their Walking with Dinosaurs line. It had a greenish tint to its armor unlike in the series.