Pronunciation: Ah-shi-sle-pel-ta Meaning: Ah-shi-sle-pah shield Author/s: Burns and Sullivan (2011) Synonyms: None known First Discovery: New Mexico, USA Chart Position: 596
Ahshislepelta is a Kirtland Formation representative of Ankylosauridae — the low-slung, wide-load, mostly club-tailed, armoured battalion of dinosaurs — but differs from all of its brethren barring Euoplocephalus in sporting armour plates with a weird knobbly surface texture. Funnily enough, some paleontologists have a sneaking suspicion that Euoplocephalus was present in the same area and that Ahshislepelta represents the juvenile version of it. However, adulthood-heralding bone fusion within its shoulder girdle and vertebrae put the kibosh on that theory, and the form of the acromion (a bony protrusion) on each unusually broad shoulder blade also helped. It is a rather small species compared to other Late Cretaceous North American ankylosaurs though.
(Small Ah-shi-sle-pah Shield)Etymology
DiscoveryThe remains of Ahshislepelta were discovered in the Ah-shi-sle-pah wilderness study area in the Hunter Wash Member of the Lower Kirtland Formation, San Juan Basin, New Mexico, in 2005 and were collected over consecutive field seasons from 2005 to 2009.
The holotype (SMP VP-1930) includes a shoulder girdle, a partial left forelimb, vertebrae and armour plates, and a hatful of unidentifiable skeletal fragments.