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US News Newly discovered dinosaur species had conelike armor on its head

09:35  22 july  2018
09:35  22 july  2018 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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With its head and snout covered in bony armor shaped like cones and pyramids, a spiky tanklike dinosaur dug up in southern The unique shape and arrangement of its head and snout armor may be its most interesting trait, the researchers said, giving clues about the Asian ancestry of some of the

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A life reconstruction of the head of the new armored dinosaur Akainacephalus johnsoni, which was covered with spiky armor. © Andrey Atuchind/Denver Museum of Nature & Science via Reuters A life reconstruction of the head of the new armored dinosaur Akainacephalus johnsoni, which was covered with spiky armor.

With its head and snout covered in bony armor shaped like cones and pyramids, a spiky tanklike dinosaur dug up in southern Utah was not just another pretty face.

Scientists on Thursday announced the discovery of fossils of a dinosaur named Akainacephalus johnsoni (pronounced uh-KEE-nuh-SEFF-uh-luss JON-son-eye) that lived 76 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period. It was a four-legged, armor-studded plant eater with a menacing club at the end of its tail.

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Newly discovered dinosaur species had conelike armor on its head squib. Remains of 76-million-year-old plant eater found in Utah. Scroll for more.

Newly discovered dinosaur species unearths diversity and evolution of ancient beasts. A scientist studying in North Queensland has described, named and unearthed insights about a newly discovered armoured dinosaur .The fossils were found in Utah a decade ago but it has taken palaeontologists

It was a member of a dinosaur group called ankylosaurs (ang-KILE-uh-SAWRS), among the most heavily armored animals ever on Earth — and for good reason, considering the predators around at the time.

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The unique shape and arrangement of its head and snout armor may be its most interesting trait, the researchers said, giving clues about the Asian ancestry of some of the ankylosaurs that roamed western North America near the end of the dinosaur era.

“Someone once told me that Akainacephalus, and ankylosaurs in general, were quite ugly and had a face only a mother could love. I must say that I wholeheartedly disagree. These are quite extraordinary and beautiful animals,” said paleontologist Jelle Wiersma of James Cook University in Australia.

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This primitive dinosaur had a wide W-shaped jaw and a solid bony crest resembling a humped nose. The fossil of the newly discovered armored dinosaur Akainacephalus johnsoni was found in The genus name essentially means "spike head ," but the species name is in honor of museum

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Akainacephalus was a medium-size ankylosaur, about 16 feet long, with a short, boxy head covered in bony armor and a beak and small teeth for cropping vegetation, said paleontologist Randall Irmis of the Natural History Museum of Utah and the University of Utah.

A drawing shows the newly discovered dinosaur Akainacephalus johnsoni, which lived 76 million years ago in Utah. It is surrounded by the crocodilian Denazinosuchus. © Andrey Atuchin/Denver Museum of Nature & Science via Reuters A drawing shows the newly discovered dinosaur Akainacephalus johnsoni, which lived 76 million years ago in Utah. It is surrounded by the crocodilian Denazinosuchus.

It had a short neck and wide torso, walked on four short stout legs, and may have whacked predators with its bony tail club. It lived in a warm, humid environment similar to southern Louisiana’s bayous, with slow-moving streams and rivers and associated swamps.

The extensive skeletal remains, including a complete skull, were excavated in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

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Scientists have discovered a brand new species of dinosaur with a big, spiky shield on its head . The new species is called the Spiclypeus shipporum, and it belongs to a S . shipporum is unique among other horned dinosaurs because some of its spikes curled forward, while others jutted straight out.

“Sarmientosaurus has probably the most complete and best preserved skull of any sauropod from South America to date,” paleontologist Wedel is also a fan of the specimen because it fills in an evolutionary gap in the titanosaurus tree between older species like Brachiosaurus and later relatives.

Akainacephalus, as well as a cousin called Nodocephalosaurus (NOH-do-SEF-a-lo-SOR-us), which lived in New Mexico a couple million years later, possessed spiky head armor similar to Asian members of this dinosaur group. Other related North American dinosaurs such as Ankylosaurus had relatively flat armor covering the head.

This shows that Akainacephalus and Nodocephalosaurus were close relatives to Asian ankylosaurs and that multiple emigration events involving this group occurred from Asia to North America late in the Cretaceous Period, the researchers said. This resulted in two distinct lineages in North America of club-tailed ankylosaurs. 

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