Science

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

New discovery: Remains of a never-before-seen armored dinosaur the size of a house cat have been found in Argentina.  Computer simulation brings new species of Jakapil kaniukura to life (pictured)
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The remains of a never-before-seen armored dinosaur, the size of a cat with a series of protective spikes running from its neck to its tail, have been found in Argentina.

  • The remains of a never-before-seen armored dinosaur have been found in Argentina
  • Experts say that Jakapil kaniukura looks like a primitive relative of Stegosaurus
  • It weighed as much as a house cat and probably grew to about 5 feet (1.5 meters) in length
  • It may represent a lineage of armored dinosaurs previously unknown to science

The remains of a never-before-seen armored dinosaur the size of a domestic cat have been found in Argentina.

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

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

According to experts, J. kaniukura had a series of protective spikes running from its neck to its tail and probably grew to about 5 feet (1.5 meters) in length.

It was a herbivore with leaf-shaped teeth similar to those of Stegosaurus – it probably walked upright and sported a short beak with a powerful bite.

New discovery: Remains of a never-before-seen armored dinosaur the size of a house cat have been found in Argentina.  Computer simulation brings new species of Jakapil kaniukura to life (pictured)

New discovery: Remains of a never-before-seen armored dinosaur the size of a house cat have been found in Argentina. Computer simulation brings new species of Jakapil kaniukura to life (pictured)

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

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

According to paleontologists at the Félix de Azara Natural History Foundation in Argentina, the species probably would have eaten tough, woody vegetation.

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

It joins Stegosaurus, Ankylosaurus and other armored dinosaurs in a group called Thyreophora.

Most thyrophores are known from the Northern Hemisphere.

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

Paleontologists Facundo J. Riguetti, Sebastian Apesteguía and Xabier Pereda-Suberbiola write in a new paper that the discovery of J. kaniukura “suggests that the first thyrophorans had a wider geographic distribution than previously thought.”

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

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

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

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

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

The dinosaur was a herbivore, had leaf-shaped teeth similar to those of Stegosaurus, probably walked upright, and had a short beak with a powerful bite.

The dinosaur was a herbivore—with leaf-shaped teeth similar to those of Stegosaurus—likely walking upright and sporting a short beak with a powerful bite.

It joins Stegosaurus, Ankylosaurus and other armored dinosaurs in a group called Thyreophora.

It joins Stegosaurus, Ankylosaurus and other armored dinosaurs in a group called Thyreophora.

It was also surprising that this ancient lineage of thyrophorans survived into the Late Cretaceous of South America, they said.

In the Northern Hemisphere, these older thyreophoran species appear to have largely disappeared during the Middle Jurassic.

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

Some later thyreophorans survived even longer, including Ankylosaurus, which went extinct along with the rest of the non-avian dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

A computer simulation by Gabriel Díaz Yante, a Chilean paleo-artist and paleontology student at the National University of Rio Negro, has realized the new species.

It shows what it might look like as it travels around the Earth.

The discovery was made in the journal Scientific Reports.

KILLING THE DINOSAURS: HOW A CITY-SIZED ATEROID WIPPED OUT 75 PERCENT OF ALL ANIMAL AND PLANT SPECIES

About 66 million years ago, the non-avian dinosaurs went extinct, wiping out more than half of the world’s species.

This mass rift paved the way for the rise of mammals and the emergence of humans.

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

The asteroid crashed into the shallow sea in what is now the Gulf of Mexico.

The collision released a huge cloud of dust and soot that caused global climate change and wiped out 75 percent of all animal and plant species.

The researchers argue that the soot needed for such a global catastrophe could only be produced by a direct impact on the rocks around Mexico, particularly in the shallow waters rich in hydrocarbons.

According to experts, within 10 hours after the impact, a huge tsunami wave broke the coast of the Gulf.

About 66 million years ago, the non-avian dinosaurs went extinct, wiping out more than half of the world's species.  Asteroid Chicxulub is often cited as a potential cause of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event (stock image)

About 66 million years ago, the non-avian dinosaurs went extinct, wiping out more than half of the world’s species. Asteroid Chicxulub is often cited as a potential cause of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event (stock image)

This has caused earthquakes and landslides in areas as far away as Argentina.

While investigating the event, researchers found small rock particles and other debris thrown into the air during the asteroid crash.

These tiny particles, called spherules, covered the planet in a thick layer of soot.

Experts explain that the loss of light from the sun caused a complete collapse in the water system.

This is because the phytoplankton base of almost all aquatic food chains would be destroyed.

More than 180 million years of evolution that brought the world into the Cretaceous period are believed to have been wiped out in less than 20 to 30 years of Tyrannosaurus rex’s lifespan.

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