- Fossils revealing a new type of dinosaur have been discovered in southern Chile.
- The creature has a tail that looks like a ‘war club’ and would have been used as a weapon.
- The study, which explains the finding, says that the Stegourus is “unlike any dinosaur.”
Fossils in Chile have unveiled a new dinosaur species with a pointed tail for stinging and carving.
The new type of dinosaur named Stegouros has a tail that “looks like an Aztec war club, with seven pairs of leaves along the tail.
An article published Dec. 1 in the academic journal Nature describes a small, two-meter-long creature that survived on a plant-based diet and had a tail “unlike any dinosaur.”
The club-like tail was used as a weapon to inflict gruesome wounds on predators.
The discovery of the fossil places the dinosaur in the late Cretaceous period – a geological period about 100.5 – 66 million years ago – in southernmost Chile.
Because of the creature’s backside, which is somewhat similar to a Stegosaurus, scientists gave it a name close to that species, but later DNA analysis found that it was only distantly related and was in fact a rare type of the ankylosaur genus. dinosaurs.
Dr. Alex Vargas, one of the lead authors of the groundbreaking study, called the dinosaur “the missing family branch of the ankylosaur,” reports the AP.
In a speech to the AP on this discovery, Macalester College biologist Kristi Curry Rogers said the tail of Stegouros is “really bizarre”, but that the find was made even more unusual by the location, as southern Chile is “a region that has” t gave these types of animals before. “
“It’s a really unusual weapon,” said Dr. Vargas, a paleontologist at the University of Chile, to AP. “Books about prehistoric animals for kids need to be updated and put this weird tail in there … It just looks crazy.”