Di­nosaur fos­sil with skin ex­ca­vated

Science Illustrated - - SCIENCE UPDATE -

In a quarry in North­ern USA, palaeon­tol­o­gists have made an epoch-mak­ing dis­cov­ery: an al­most in­tact fos­sil of an un­known di­nosaur species.

So far, sci­en­tists have man­aged to ex­ca­vate the crea­ture’s skull and tail – the rest re­mains em­bed­ded in a 15 tonne rock and will take sev­eral years to "free". The fos­sil is so well- pre­served that skin, ker­atin, and soft bone parts such as the di­nosaur’s ar­mour have been pre­served in the rock. The her­biv­o­rous di­nosaur lived in what is now Mon­tana some 75 mil­lion years ago. The new species, which has been named Zuul cruri­vas­ta­tor, is an anky­losaurus, which is known to have a club-like tail. Zuul is from the Ghost­busters film, which in­cludes a mon­ster re­sem­bling the fos­sil. Cruri­vas­ta­tor means “crusher of shins”, re­fer­ring to the 3-m-long tail.

The well-pre­served di­nosaur was 6 m long and weighed about 2,500 kg – the same as a large rhino.

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