Illustration by Danielle Dufault
The armored beasts of the Cretaceous known as ankylosaurine dinosaurs don’t get as much love as the charismatic T. rex.
But now, one of the world’s only complete ankylosaurid skeletons has been acquired and analyzed by the Royal Ontario Museum—and the artifact even has a significant amount of mummified tissues like skin.
At this point, there’s no denying that this creature, whose body was covered in spikes, horns, and scales like a medieval dragon, has earned the wholly scientific designation of “badass.”
In a paper for the Royal Society Open Science, Royal Ontario Museum paleontologists Victoria Arbour and David Evans describe the 75 million-year-old creature, a new species they dubbed Zuul crurivastator. Yes, its name is a reference to the demon Zuul from the original Ghostbusters movie. “Crurivastator” means “crusher of shins,” which is exactly what this creature could do with its spiked, hammer-tipped tail.
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