At least if the way the three palaeontologists I've talked to about them were accurate (in their defense none were specialists in armoured Dinosaurs). What I gathered was that all the scales of their skin had been hardened to some extent. The more advanced the Ankie the more hard the skin. However this essentially meant the whole (adult) animal was covered in varying sized bones on its hide. A true exoskeleton.
The problem is no reptile today has this type of protection. At least not to the degree and complexity of an Ankyosaur. So how do you reconstruct them?
There seem to a lot of memes and trends in how Ankylosaurs are recreated. I'm collecting various "official", professional, and museum sanctioned Minmi recreations to supplement Peter Bond's original Minmi post on his blog. All the recreations I'm collecting should have had scientist input at some stage, which leads me to hope there was science behind the armour placements. There are a few methods and choices I follow, but others are making me wonder if there are some really rampant Ankie armour memes out there. Standby for a more detailed post on ART Evolved, and possibly reposted here.
At moment I'm just trying to finish the baseline of my Minmi so that I can play next week.
This is the animal completely covered with baseline textures. Thought and comments?
This is the body and legs covered in actual armour objects via a surface replicator (my favourite tool of all time!). I think I need to bring the scutes up on the limbs to about knee level, but otherwise I'm really digging this look so far. That and I'm really starting to like my unique warning colouration scheme. Of all Dinosaurs to be flamboyantly coloured I'm thinking the hard and prickly Ankies were the ones to sport this look!