Science

A never-before-seen armored dinosaur has been discovered in Argentina

New discovery: A never-before-seen fossilized armored dinosaur the size of a house cat has been found in Argentina.  A computer simulation brings new species Jakapil Kanyukura to life (pictured)
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A never-before-seen armored dinosaur fossil has been found in Argentina

  • Never-before-seen armored dinosaur remains found in Argentina
  • Experts say the Jakapil Kanyukura species looks like a primitive relative of Stegosaurus
  • weighed as much as a house cat and probably grew to about 5 feet (1.5 m) tall
  • May represent a lineage of armored dinosaurs previously unknown to science

A never-before-seen fossil of an armored dinosaur the size of a house cat has been found in Argentina.

Paleontologists say Jakapil Kanyukura looks like a primitive relative of Ankylosaurus or Stegosaurus and may represent an entire lineage of species previously unknown to science.

It belongs to the Cretaceous period and lived 97 million to 94 million years ago.

J. Kanyukura had a row of protective spines from neck to tail, experts said, and probably grew to about 5 feet (1.5 meters) long.

It was a plant eater – with leaf-shaped teeth like Stegosaurus – probably walked upright and had a short beak capable of a powerful bite.

New discovery: A never-before-seen fossilized armored dinosaur the size of a house cat has been found in Argentina.  A computer simulation brings new species Jakapil Kanyukura to life (pictured)

New discovery: A never-before-seen fossilized armored dinosaur the size of a house cat has been found in Argentina. A computer simulation brings new species Jakapil Kanyukura to life (pictured)

Paleontologists say Jakapil Kanyukura looks like a primitive relative of Ankylosaurus or Stegosaurus and may represent an entire lineage of species previously unknown to science.

Paleontologists say Jakapil Kanyukura looks like a primitive relative of Ankylosaurus or Stegosaurus and may represent an entire lineage of species previously unknown to science.

According to paleontologists at the Félix de Azra Natural History Foundation in Argentina, the species would likely have been able to eat hard, woody plants.

The dinosaur’s partial skeleton was discovered in the Rio Negro province of northern Patagonia.

It joins Stegosaurus, Ankylosaurus, and other armor-backed dinosaurs in a group called Thyriophora.

Most thyriophorans are known from the Northern Hemisphere.

Fossils of the earliest members of this group are also typically from the Jurassic period, from about 201 million years ago to 163 million years ago.

J. Kanyukura’s discovery “shows that early thyreophorans had a much wider geographic distribution than previously thought,” paleontologist Facundo J. Righetti, Sebastian Apasteguia and Javier Pereda-Suberbiola write in the new paper.

The dinosaur's partial skeleton was discovered in the Rio Negro province of northern Patagonia

A partial dinosaur skeleton was discovered in the Rio Negro province of northern Patagonia

It belongs to the Cretaceous period and lived 97 million to 94 million years ago

It belongs to the Cretaceous period and lived 97 million to 94 million years ago

Fossils of the earliest members of this group are also typically from the Jurassic period, from about 201 million years ago to 163 million years ago.

Fossils of the earliest members of this group are also typically from the Jurassic period, from about 201 million years ago to 163 million years ago.

The dinosaur was a plant eater ¿ probably walked upright with stegosaurus-like leaf-shaped teeth and a small beak capable of a powerful bite

The dinosaur was a plant eater – with leaf-shaped teeth like Stegosaurus – probably walked upright and had a small beak capable of a powerful bite.

It joins Stegosaurus, Ankylosaurus, and other armor-backed dinosaurs in a group called Thyriophora.

It joins Stegosaurus, Ankylosaurus, and other armor-backed dinosaurs in a group called Thyriophora.

It was also surprising that this ancient lineage of thyriophorans survived into the late Cretaceous of South America, they added.

In the Northern Hemisphere, this older type of thyriophoran appears to have largely become extinct by the Middle Jurassic.

But in the southern supercontinent Gondwana, they apparently survived well into the Cretaceous.

Some later thyreophorans lived longer — including Ankylosaurus, which became extinct along with the rest of the non-avian dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

A computer simulation by Gabriel Diaz Yanten, a Chilean paleoartist and paleontology student at Rio Negro National University, brought the new species to life.

It shows what it looked like when it walked on Earth.

The discovery was published in a journal called Scientific report.

Killing off the dinosaurs: How a city-sized asteroid wiped out 75 percent of all animal and plant species

Non-avian dinosaurs became extinct about 66 million years ago, and more than half of the world’s species became extinct.

This mass extinction paved the way for the rise of mammals and the presence of humans.

The Chicxulub asteroid is often cited as a possible cause of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event.

The asteroid has now crashed into a shallow ocean in the Gulf of Mexico.

The collision released a huge cloud of dust and glass that triggered global climate change, wiping out 75 percent of all animal and plant species.

The researchers claim that the glass required for such a global catastrophe could only come from direct impacts on shallow-water rocks around Mexico, which are particularly rich in hydrocarbons.

Within 10 hours of impact, a massive tsunami wave hit the Gulf Coast, experts believe.

Non-avian dinosaurs became extinct about 66 million years ago, and more than half of the world's species became extinct.  The Chicxulub asteroid is often cited as a possible cause of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event (stock image).

Non-avian dinosaurs became extinct about 66 million years ago, and more than half of the world’s species became extinct. The Chicxulub asteroid is often cited as a possible cause of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event (stock image).

This resulted in earthquakes and landslides as far away as Argentina.

While investigating the event, researchers found small particles of rock and other debris that were shot into the air when the asteroid crashed.

Called spheres, these tiny particles cover the planet with a thick layer.

Experts explain that the loss of light from the sun leads to a complete collapse of the aquatic system.

This is because the phytoplankton base of almost all aquatic food chains would have been eliminated.

It is believed that over 180 million years of evolution that brought the world to the Cretaceous point was destroyed in less than 20 to 30 years during the life of Tyrannosaurus rex.

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