Sauroplites (pronounced sawr-oh-PLIE-teez) (meaning “lizard armoured soldier” or »lizard hoplite« – A “lizard hoplite” from Early Cretaceous or Late Cretaceous north China and Mongolia. The name comes from the hoplites, the name of the heavily armed infantry of ancient Greece.) is a genus of ankylosaurid dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous. The type species, Sauroplites scutiger, was formally described by Bohlin in 1953, but is often considered a nomen dubium because it is based on fragmentary material. Sauroplites lived in what is now Gansu, China, during the Barremian to Aptian stages. Some believe it may actually be a specimen of another ankylosaur, Shamosaurus.
It was an armored, quadruped, plant-eating dinosaur that dates from the early Cretaceous period, about 125-97.5 million years ago. This large nodosaurid ankylosaur may have been up to 17 feet (5 m) long (and had no tail club). Fragmentary fossils, including armored plates from the back, have been found in China.
Sauroplites is one of the oldest known ankylosaurids.
Genus: Sauroplites Bohlin, 1953
Species: S. scutiger Bohlin, 1953