The Minmi crossing, Minmi (1980)

Phylum : Chordata
Class : Reptilia
Order : Ornithischia
Suborder : Anylosauria
Family : Ankylosauridae
Genus : Minmi
Species : M. paravertebra

  • Early Cretaceous (126,3 - 100,5 Ma)
  • 2 m long and 120 kg (size)
  • Queensland, Australia (map)

Minmi was an unusually small, and unusually primitive, ankylosaur (armored dinosaur) from middle Cretaceous Australia. This herbivore’s armor was rudimentary compared to that of later, more famous genera like Ankylosaurus and Euoplocephalus, consisting of horizontal bony plates running along the sides of its backbone, a noticeable thickening on its belly, and spiky protrusions at the end of its long tail. Minmi also had an unusually small, narrow head, which has led some paleontologists to speculate that its encephalization quotient (the comparative size of its brain to the rest of its body) was lower than that of other dinosaurs of its time. Considering how stupid the average ankylosaur was, that’s not much of a compliment.