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New Armored Dinosaur found in Chile had Bizarre Tail

A species of armored Dinosaur discovered in Chile had a weaponized tail not seen before in any other. Nearly 2 meters (6.5 feet) in size, the small armored called an ankylosaur dates from the late Cretaceous period, around 71.7 million to 74.9 million years ago.The Dinosaur complete fossilized skeleton was found in Magallanes province in Patagonia, Chile’s southernmost region.

The Dinosaur, named Stegouros elengassen, had evolved a large tail weapon unlike those seen in other armored such as the paired spikes of Stegosaurus and the club-like tail of Ankylosaurus.While its skull had features in common with other ankylosaurs, its tail weaponry was bizarre. The study was published in the journal Nature on Wednesday. The Dinosaur tail had seven pairs of flattened, bony deposits fused in a frond-like structure.

Sergio Soto Acuña, main author of the study and a doctoral student at the Universidad de Chile, said that the tail is bizarre, as it is short for a and the posterior half is encased in dermal bones (bones that grow in the skin) forming a unique (tail) weapon.He said it resembled the tail of a rattlesnake or spiny-tailed lizard. The Dinosaur possessed actual bones under the scales. The most similar feature would be the tail of a giant armadillo, but they are also extinct, he added.

Stegouros, which means “roofed tail” in Greek and “elenggassen,” is from Aonikenk, the language of the original inhabitants of Patagonia, and refers to a mythological armored beast. The fossil was found in 2018. The study noted that very few ankylosaurs had been found from southern Gondwana the lower part of the ancient supercontinent Pangea.

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