Scientists made an important discovery. A new species of armoured dinosaur was found and its name is Akainacephalus johnsoni. The name has Greek meaning.”Akaina” means “thorn” or spike,” while “cephalus” means “head.” Meanwhile, the “johnsoni” part is dedicated to Randy Johnson, who is was a volunteer at Utah’s Natural History Museum and a chemist before he retired.
Well preserved fossils
Paleontologists made this discovery in southern Utah. The new species has a large skull, as well as a bony club at the end of the tail.
”This is a really remarkable species,” declared Jelle Wiersma who is a doctoral candidate in geosciences at Australia’s James Cook University and a co-author of the study announcing the discovery. She also added that the preservation of the fossils is truly “remarkable”.
It appears that it is rare to encounter such occasions. “I never thought that I would have the opportunity to actually work on fossils that could be important for paleontologists,” Wiersma added.
The paleontologist also explained that the dinosaur was a strong one, and, thanks to his armour, he was able to protect itself against attacks:
“It seems like they were well able to defend themselves. The best way to get to them would have been to flip them over,” Wiersma concluded.
Ankylosaurids are originally from Asia, where they existed between 125 and 100 million years ago. According to fossil records, the reached North America “only” 77 million years ago. These dinosaurs were quite common 76 million years ago, in the Late Cretaceous Period.
The armoured dinosaur had four legs and a medium size. According to scientists, the Ankylosauris had around 5 meters in length and it was 1.5 meters tall. Its bony tail club was most likely a weapon used against predators. It is believed that the tyrannosaurs used to prey on this dinosaur.