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Temporal range: Middle Jurassic, 163Ma
|Illustration of the mandible|
Sarcolestes (meaning "flesh robber") is a genus of early ankylosaurian dinosaur from Middle Jurassic England, Callovian, around 163 million years ago. The type species, Sarcolestes leedsi, was described by Richard Lydekker in 1893, but is based on very fragmentary material, holotype BMNH R2682, consisting of a single left lower jaw bone. It was first thought to be a flesh-eating dinosaur, hence the name, meaning 'flesh thief'. After subsequent preparation uncovered within the bone the replacement teeth of a herbivore, it was at first assumed to have been a stegosaurid. In 1983 Peter Galton provisionally assigned it to the Nodosauridae. Later authors have been even less certain and considered it either a nomen dubium or placed it as Ankylosauria incertae sedis.
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