Home » Health » Unique, Researchers Find Armored Tailed Dinosaur Fossil in Chile

Unique, Researchers Find Armored Tailed Dinosaur Fossil in Chile


KOMPAS.com – Researchers discovered a new species of armored dinosaur in Chile. Dinosaur fossils ankylosaurus it has a very strange tail, paleontologists refer to it as an armored tail.

“The tail is very strange, because the short dinosaur (body) and the back is wrapped in dermal bone (bone that grows on the skin) to form a unique weapon (tail),” said Sergio Soto Acuna, a doctoral student at the Universidad de Chile and lead author of the study. as reported by CNN, Wednesday (1/12/2021).

Reported from Live Science, Wednesday (12/1/2021) the uniqueness of this dinosaur’s tail is considered not similar to other dinosaurs that have been found.

Researchers write a report on the discovery of this new species in the journal Nature published on December 1, 2021.

Read also: Dinosaur footprints in Texas look strange, researchers suspect sauropod front footprints

This armored dinosaur species is named after Stegouros lengassen, about 2 meters high.

According to the calculations of scientists, S. elengassen dating from the late Cretaceous period, about 71.7 million to 74.9 million years ago.

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The name “Stegouros” comes from the Greek word stego means roof and male which means tails combined into a ‘roofed tail’.

The species name, “elengassen” comes from the Aonikenk language, referring to the armored beast in Patagonia’s native mythology.

“The tail will look like a sword, very flat. The tail will look like an Aztec sword,” said vertebrate paleontologist in the Department of Biology at the University of Chile and researcher Alexander Vargas.

Most of the fossil skeletons were discovered in February 2018 in the Magallanes Province of Patagonia, Chile’s southernmost region. Apart from that, the skeletal remains were quite complete and in good condition.

“The skeleton is strange, because (the bones are in order) from the waist down, and the whole (section) from the waist up is a bit spread out,” said Vargas.

Although only speculation, researchers suspect the ankylosaurus dinosaur died on the bank of a river where there was quicksand, as a result, the lower body looks good.

Vargas admitted, it was not easy to dig up dinosaur remains because the research team only had a short time. But their efforts finally paid off with the discovery of a dinosaur with a fern-like tail.

Species Stegouros lengassen very different from other Laurasian ankylosaurus. This animal has light armor with several bone plates and a rather large head with a curved beak.

Stegouros lengassen have a small body. It doesn’t have pointed claws, (but) it has round claws like fingernails on its hands and feet,” said Vargas.

Interestingly, the most distinctive body part of this new species is the shorter tail of known armored dinosaurs.

The tail, researchers say, is made of seven pairs of large, flattened osteoderms. The first two pairs of osteoderms are near the body, and the next five pairs are fused into a flat, strong weapon.

Also read: Rare Small Toothless Dinosaur Found in Brazil

Until now, the research team still didn’t know how the Laurasian ankylosaurus dinosaurs traveled south and lived in Gondwana.

“It is very exciting to find an armored dinosaur with a tail that has never been seen before,” said Vargas.

Agreeing with him, Matt Lamanna, a paleontologist from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh who was not involved in the research, said that this discovery was an extraordinary thing that was very unexpected.

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