Scientists have discovered a new dinosaur fossil that looks like an armored T-Rex. The new fossils were discovered in the Candeleros Formation in Argentina. Scientists have named this new dinosaur Jakapil kaniukura, and they say it belongs to the thyreophorans group, the same group that houses the armored stegosaurus and ankylosaurus.
Scientists uncovered a new armored dinosaur unlike anything we’ve ever seen
J. kaniukura may look like an armored T-Rex in some regards, but this armored dinosaur is actually a herbivore. And, despite its close resemblance to carnivores and a body make-up more likely to be found in carnivores, it was more like the stegosaurus in that it relied on vegetation and only used its armor for it protection.
Further, despite being an herbivore, the J. kaniukura also has small arms, like those seen on the T-Rex and the Meraxes gigas. Yet another reason that many have drawn conclusions and connections between the two. However, the researchers say that the new armored dinosaur and the T-Rex lived in different environments and ecological niches.
No matter the reasoning, the discovery of J. kaniukura is fascinating. Thyreophoran dinosaurs first appeared over 200 million years ago. And, for a while, many believed that the bipedal form of these dinosaurs was lost in favor of the much larger and lumbering four-footed tanks like the stegosaurus and ankylosaurs. However, this new armored dinosaur proves that isn’t the case.
Instead, J. kaniukura is believed to have been roughly the size of a house cat, maybe a little larger. This makes it very small compared to other armored dinosaurs we know about. And the possibility of more dinosaurs that size walking on two legs and having armor on their bodies is also likely.
Because the time between the Jurassic two-legged ancestors of the Thyreophoran dinosaurs and the more well-known stegosaurus-type was so long, there appears to be a large gap in the fossil record. Hopefully, more evidence of these bipedal armored dinosaurs will be found in future digs.
For now, the scientists say they want to continue looking for more connections within the Thyreophoran family. And they hope that they’ll find those connections in South Ameirca and Africa. They recently published a paper in the journal Scientific Reports, describing the new armored dinosaur in great detail.