Argentina has turn into a locus for weird dinosaur fossils.This past year, paleontologists in the united kingdom found dinosaur bones so big, they believe they could have belonged to the biggest land animal ever.Now they’ve found something much smaller, as well as perhaps odder still:a dinosaur that’s only as large as your dog but is covered in so much plated armor that it type of resembles an oversized armadillo.
The newly-discovered dinosaur has been given the taxonomic nameJakapil kaniukura, as paleontologists detailed in a recent article in the journal Scientific Reports. Jakapil kaniukura lived roughly 97 to 94 million years back; walked with two legs rather than four; had tiny arms which resembled chicken wings; possessed a brief beak used to provide sharp bites; and was built with a distinctive ring of armor around its neck.
“The neck armor of the dinosaur is exclusive, also it protected that delicate area from predator attacks,” explained among the study’s co-authors, Sebastin Apestegua. “The bones which are preserved from the arms show us they were tiny,” that is unusual for dinosaurs from the group to which Jakapil kaniukurabelonged referred to as thyreophorans. Thyreophorans are thought as the band of “armored” dinosaurs, which are seen as a thick plates of bony armor that lined their health. Notoriousthyreophorans include stegosaurus, which had some mohawk-like spikes running down its back also to its tail; and anklyosaurus, which resembled an enormous version of the extanthorned toad, albeit with a tail shaped such as a mace.
If Jakapil kaniukuraappears like the stuff of nightmares, rest easy: Even though it weren’t extinct, it could probably pose no threat for you. Like itsthyreophorarelatives the stegosaurus and theankylosaurus, Jakapil kaniukura is believe to possess been a herbivore, and therefore it ate plants rather than meat. Even though it turned out a carnivore, however, Jakapil kaniukura had not been very big indeed, roughly only so long as a retriever-size dog (significantly less than 5 feet).
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The discovery of Jakapil kaniukura can be scientifically significant for several reasons. Because the paper’s authors explain, the diminutive dinosaur has some “unusual anatomical features” offering many traits not usually linked to the thyreophorans from that period.Additionally it is the initial definitive thyreophoran species from the Argentinian Patagonia” that is remarkably southward for a thyreophoran, given how that they had previously only been discovered in the northern hemisphere.That is, actually, thethyreophoran recognized to have already been unearthed anywhere on the southern side of the equator.
Furthermore, some thyreophoran walked on four legs, Jakapil kaniukura “appears to show a bipedal stance,” researchers write and therefore it only walked on two legs, similar to humans. The dinosaur can be noteworthy because its discovery in the southern hemisphere hints that thyreophorans were a lot more widely distributed than previously believed. In addition they survived before Late Cretaceous in SOUTH USA, that was between 100.5 million and 66 million years back before the famous mass extinction of the dinosaurs.
The dinosaur’s scientific name can be noteworthy, since it utilizes indigenous languages.The term “Jakapil” comes from a term which means “shield bearer” in the Puelchean or northern Tehuelchean Indigenous language of Argentina. Similarly the term “Kanikura” comes from the Indigenous Mapudungun words for”crest” and “stone.”
Paleontologists may also be pleased to have obtained a surprisingly comprehensive fossil of the dinosaur, because they could actually recover a few of the spikes that ran across the animal’s back, an almost intact lower jaw, along with its leg and arm bones and neck, back and tail vertebrae.
The scientists also posted a video onlineshowing a computer-simulated reconstruction of Jakapil kaniukura as presented byChilean palaeoartist and palaeontology student at the Ro Negro National University Gabriel Daz Yantn.