Facts[edit | edit source]
The Thyreophora were armored herbivorous dinosaurs, living from the early Jurassic until the end of the Cretaceous.
Thyreophorans are characterized by the presence of body armor lined up in longitudinal rows along the body. Primitive forms had simple, low, keeled scutes or osteoderms, whereas more derived forms developed more elaborate structures including spikes and plates. Most thyreophorans had relatively small brains for their body size.
Thyreophorans include well-known suborders such as the Ankylosauria and Stegosauria as well as lesser-known groups. In both groups, the forelimbs were much shorter than the hindlimbs, and this was particularly exaggerated in stegosaurs. The clade has been defined as the group consisting of all species more closely related to Ankylosaurus than to Triceratops.
Among the Ankylosauria, the two main groups are the ankylosaurids and nodosaurids.