Bizarre new armored dinosaur species was a two-legged tank

Armored dinosaurs like Stegosaurus and Ankylosaurus have been largely huge, cumbersome animals that walked on 4 legs, however paleontologists have now found a weird relative the dimensions of a canine that strutted round on two legs.

One of the biggest and most placing teams of dinosaurs have been the thyreophora, herbivores that each one sported thick plates and armor to guard them from predators. The most well-known members of the group could be the stegosaur household, which had huge plates alongside their backs and spiked tails, and the ankylosaurs, which have been constructed like tanks and infrequently had heavy golf equipment of bone on their tails.

But whereas this group have been often giants and virtually solely quadrupedal, paleontologists have now discovered one which bucks the development. The new species, named Jakapil kaniukura, had comparable bony plates operating up its again, neck and tail, besides it was simply 1.5 m (4.9 ft) lengthy and solely weighed between 4 and seven kg (8.8 and 15.4 lb). Weirder nonetheless, it ran round on two legs, and had tiny little chicken-wing arms.

“The neck armor of this dinosaur is unique and it protected that delicate area from predator attacks,” mentioned Sebastián Apesteguía, an creator of the research. “The bones that are preserved from the arms show us that they were tiny, something that does not occur in the rest of the thyreophorans, the vast majority of which are quadrupeds.”

Jakapil Kaniukura is an armored dinosaur discovered in Patagonia
Jakapil Kaniukura is an armored dinosaur found in Patagonia

Mauricio Álvarez and Gabriel Díaz Yanten (paleogdy)

Despite its probably fearsome look, Jakapil was nonetheless a herbivore. Its enamel have been discovered to be leaf-shaped with a big face for grinding up plant matter, in an identical structure to its family. It additionally had a novel mandible that was comparatively brief and had a big ridge beneath.

But possibly the strangest a part of all is the place Jakapil suits within the household tree. It appears to be considerably of a lacking hyperlink from early thyreophoran dinosaurs to the varied teams of later stegosaurs and ankylosaurs, which grew to become quadrupedal as they acquired extra armored and far heavier. The solely different bipedal member of the family is Scutellosaurus, which lived within the early Jurassic interval, some 196 million years in the past, in what’s now the US.

But Jakapil lived in Patagonia about 100 million years later. The crew says this makes it a member of an historic basal thyreophoran lineage that survived properly into the Cretaceous – lengthy after family like Stegosaurus developed and died out. And being the primary of its type to be present in South America exhibits that this group was extra widespread than beforehand thought.

The analysis was revealed within the journal Scientific Reports.

Sources: Universidad Maimónides, Unidiversidad

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