Discovery of a new ankylosaur sheds light on its origin

Discovery of a new ankylosaur sheds light on its origin


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In the south of the State of Utah in the USA, a team of paleontologists has found the remains of a new species and genus of ankylosaurus, a dinosaur wearing spiky bone armor, which they have named Akainacephalus johnsoni.

Surprisingly, analysis of the fossils reveals that this species would be more related to Asian specimens than with the North Americans for the thorns of his skull.

Their armored body is surely what most characterizes ankylosaurids, a type of dinosaur that originated in Asia between 125 and 100 million years ago and also lived in North America about 77 million years ago.

Until now, all the species found on the American continent also had a peculiar cranial morphology with smooth armor.

But nevertheless, the new species found in Utah (named Akainacephalus johnsoni, in honor of Utah Museum of Natural History volunteer Randy Johnson, who prepared his skull), shows a pointed cuirass also on his head, most similar to Asian ankylosaurs.

This is the main conclusion of a study published today in the journal PeerJ, in which it took scientists almost four years to prepare the dinosaur bones.

Akainacephalus, which lived 76 million years ago during the Upper Cretaceous and could measure up to five meters in length, offers the most complete skeleton of an ankylosaurid dinosaur found in the southwestern United States: a complete skull, much of the spine and a full rump, various fore and hind limb elements, and bony body armor including two neck rings and spiked armor plates.

It is precisely the unique arrangement of the bone armor in the form of small cones and pyramids covering the muzzle and head the most striking feature of this ankylosaur. This trait would relate it more to the Asians Saichania and Tarchia than to the Americans Ankylosaurus and Euoplocephalus.

Ankylosaurus: one dinosaur, two continents

Akainacephalus roamed the southern part of Laramidia, an island continent that was located on the western coast of a shallow sea that divided North America in two. This caused the isolation between the western and eastern parts of the North American continent between 95 and 70 million years ago.

According to lead author Jelle Wiersma, a scientist at the time at the University of Utah, the geographic distribution of ankylosaurs was the result of several sea-level declines that allowed Asians to migrate to North America several times during the Upper Cretaceous. .

This caused the presence of two separate groups of ankylosaurus dinosaurs. This decline in sea level exposed the Beringia land bridge, allowing dinosaurs and other animals to move between Asia and North America.

It is always exciting to name a new fossil taxon, but it is equally exciting if that taxon also provides additional information about the big picture of its life, such as its diet or aspects of its behavior, and the environment in which it lived.”Wiersma declares.

Via Sinc Agency

After studying History at the University and after many previous tests, Red Historia was born, a project that emerged as a means of dissemination where you can find the most important news of archeology, history and humanities, as well as articles of interest, curiosities and much more. In short, a meeting point for everyone where they can share information and continue learning.


Video: New dinosaur discovered


Comments:

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  5. Phineas

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  6. Egbert

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