Hello, BK, I am very glad to ask you question again. I think you know that some armored dinosaurs could use their tails as a weapons. What do you think, if take three dinosaurs: stegosaurus with tail spikes, gastonia with tail that had triangle sharp plates that worked like scissors and ankylosaurus with tail club; which dinosaur of these three had the deadliest and most dangerous tail as a weapon against predators? Also I want to know, what do you think who would win in a fight between armored dinosaur like ankylosaurus or large sauropod dinosaur like argentinosaurus?
Hello again Alexander.
Stegosaurus weighed over 3 tons and had 4 spikes on its tail (each close to 3ft long). A swing from Stegasaurus' tail could cause deep puncture wounds in an opponent. Gastonia weighed about a ton, and had flat, triangular-shaped spikes protruding from the sides of its tail (and sides). Gastonia could swing this tail to inflict gashes in the body of an adversary. Ankylosaurus weighed over 4 tons (with some higher estimations) and had a large club of bone at the end of its tail that could be swung with great force to smash into an enemy.
In ranking these tail weapons, I must take weight and build into consideration. Ankylosaurus wasn't as mobile as Stegosaurus due to its heavy, thick armor, but any swing of its tail that connected could easily break bones. It could afford to be slow because of its protective armor, and it would simply crouch down (to protect its underbelly) and wait for an attacker to come into range of its huge club. Ankylosaurus might not have been able to get into position to use its weapon as efficiently as Stegosaurus & Gastonia, but the force of the swing was probably much greater than the swings of the other 2. The club of the Ankylosaurus wouldn't necessarily be fatal to an attacker, but it would have a good chance of disabling an attacker. It's close, but I would rank Ankylosaurus first.
Stegosaurus has plates along its back, but these didn't offer the same level of protection as the armor of Ankylosaurus & Gastonia. Stegosaurus had to rely on its tail spikes to defend itself. Its tail was long, and its tail swing had decent range, but there was no guarantee the spikes would be pointed at the optimal angle when tail made contact with an enemy. A perfect swing would potentially cause more damage than the swing of the Ankylosaurus' club, but the Ankylosaurus would likely cause damage regardless of how the club struck an opponent. While the spikes of the Stegasaurus could cause fatal injuries if aimed correctly, it would likely require multiple blows to cause a fatality. With equal-weight animals I would probably give the Stegosaurus' tail spikes the edge over the Ankylosaurus' tail club, but the Ankylosaurus is heavier. I would rank Stegosaurus second.
Gastonia had huge triangular-shaped protrusions along the frontal areas of its body (side & shoulders), and could actually charge to drive these into an opponent (much like the ankylosaur Edmontonia did). However, any attacker from the back had to deal with its tail. Gastonia could use its tail to cut an opponent, and could probably swing it more rapidly than Ankylosaurus, but its smaller size meant much less force. It would cause accumulative damage, but wouldn't have the same level of effectiveness as the tail weapons of the larger Ankylosaurus & Stegosaurus. I rank Gastonia third.
Ankylosaurus vs Argentinosaurus: Ankylosaurus could cause an serious impact wound to the leg of a Tyrannosaurus rex with its bony tail club, but the Tyrannosaurus was only about twice as heavy at most. Argentinosaurus was estimated to weigh approximately 75-100 tons, which is as much as 20 Ankylosauruses. The Argentinosaurus is simply to big for the Ankylosaurus to overcome. If you were to put 2 Ankylosauruses on top of one another, they would not reach the belly of an Argentinosaurus! The legs of the Argentinosaurus were thick, and would be robust enough to withstand most initial swings from the tail of Ankylosaurus. In contrast, the legs of a 7-8 ton Tyrannosaurus would be vulnerable from an Ankylosaurus' tail club. The Argentinosaurus wouldn't normally battle an Ankylosaurus if they crossed paths (assuming they lived together), but if they were to fight, the Argentinosaurus could easily crush the Ankylosaurus by stepping on it (and pressing its armor into the rest of its body). It's also possible that the Ankylosaurus could whack the Argentinosaurus in the leg and make it retreat. If determined to defeat each other, the Argentinosaurus would have much better means at its disposal than the Ankylosaurus to get the job done.