Talarurus plicatospineus — an armoured dinosaur
Talarurus was an ankylosaur dinosaur, known from several fossils unearthed in Mongolia in the 1950s. Ankylosaurs were the most heavily armoured dinosaurs, and Talarurus was one of the best equipped of these. Its back and sides were entirely covered with thick bony plates that had short protruding spikes. These spikes had a corrugated appearance, and were even on its cheeks and the back of its head.
Talarurus was a herbivore. It had a beak-like snout to nip off plant material and small teeth at the back of its mouth, which suggests that it swallowed rather than chewed its food.
The most potent form of active defence available to Talarurus was its tail. This was armoured, held rigid by stiff tendons and had a club of fused bones at its end. Strong muscles at the base of the tail would have allowed it to be swung with great force at an attacker such as Tarbosaurus, aided by the animal’s ability to swivel quickly. Talarurus may not have been able to run fast, but it could spin quickly and wallop its attacker with its tail!