Abstract

The aetosaur Stagonolepis robertsoni was the first reptile to be named from the Late Triassic Lossiemouth Sandstone Formation of Morayshire. Its characteristic rectangular armour plates have been reported in isolation and in association with skeletal remains. Here we present for the first time a three-dimensional reconstruction of the armour plates around the tail in association with caudal vertebrae and a chevron, to give direct evidence of the body outline. The caudal vertebral column was surrounded by eight bony osteoderms, paired paramedian dorsal and ventral plates, and a pair of lateral osteoderms on right and left. The tail shape was subcircular, broader than high. The osteoderms overlap like roofing tiles, the posterior margin of each overlapping the osteoderm following behind. The success of these scans suggests that computed tomography scanning could reveal excellent detail of all the Elgin reptiles in the future.

Supplementary material: Three-dimensional models of the two fossil specimens are available at: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4824183

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