A never-before-seen armored dinosaur is discovered in Argentina

Fossilized remains of never-before-seen armored dinosaur the size of a CAT with a row of protective spines running from its neck to its tail are unearthed in Argentina

  • The remains of a never-before-seen armored dinosaur discovered in Argentina
  • Experts say the Jakapil kaniukura species resembles an early relative of Stegosaurus
  • Weighed as much as a domestic cat and probably grew to around 1.5 meters in length
  • May represent a line of armored dinosaurs previously unknown to science

The fossilized remains of an unprecedented armored dinosaur the size of a domestic cat have been discovered in Argentina.

Paleontologists say Jakapil kaniukura resembles an early relative of Ankylosaurus or Stegosaurus and may represent an entire lineage of species previously unknown to science.

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

J. kaniukura had a row of protective spines running from its neck to its tail, experts say, and probably grew to around 1.5 meters in length.

It was a plant eater – with leaf-like teeth similar to those of Stegosaurus – probably walked upright and sported a short beak capable of delivering a strong bite.

New Discovery: Fossilized remains of a unique armored dinosaur the size of a domestic cat have been unearthed in Argentina. A computer simulation brought the new species Jakapil kaniukura (pictured) to life

Paleontologists say Jakapil kaniukura resembles a primitive relative of Ankylosaurus or Stegosaurus and may represent an entire lineage of species previously unknown to science

Paleontologists say Jakapil kaniukura resembles a primitive relative of Ankylosaurus or Stegosaurus and may represent an entire lineage of species previously unknown to science

The species would likely have been able to eat tough woody vegetation, according to paleontologists from the Félix de Azara Natural History Foundation in Argentina.

The partial skeleton of the dinosaur was discovered in the province of Río Negro, in northern Patagonia.

It joins Stegosaurus, Ankylosaurus and other armour-backed dinosaurs in a group called Thyreophora.

Most thyreophores are known from the northern hemisphere.

Fossils of the earliest members of this group also date back more often to the Jurassic period, around 201 million years ago to 163 million years ago.

The discovery of J. kaniukura “shows that early thyreophores had a much wider geographic distribution than previously thought,” paleontologists Facundo J. Riguetti, Sebastián Apesteguía and Xabier Pereda-Suberbiola wrote in the new paper.

The partial skeleton of the dinosaur was discovered in the province of Río Negro in northern Patagonia

The partial skeleton of the dinosaur was discovered in the province of Río Negro in northern Patagonia

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

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

Fossils of the earliest members of this group also date back more often to the Jurassic period, around 201 million years ago to 163 million years ago.

Fossils of the earliest members of this group also date back more often to the Jurassic period, around 201 million years ago to 163 million years ago.

The dinosaur was a plant eater - with leaf-like teeth similar to those of Stegosaurus - probably walked upright and sported a short beak capable of delivering a strong bite

The dinosaur was a plant eater – with leaf-like teeth similar to those of Stegosaurus – probably walked upright and sported a short beak capable of delivering a strong bite

It joins Stegosaurus, Ankylosaurus and other armour-backed dinosaurs in a group called Thyreophora

It joins Stegosaurus, Ankylosaurus and other armour-backed dinosaurs in a group called Thyreophora

It’s also surprising that this ancient lineage of thyreophores survived into the Late Cretaceous in South America, they added.

In the northern hemisphere, these older types of thyreophores seem mostly to have disappeared by the Middle Jurassic.

But on the southern supercontinent of Gondwana, however, they apparently survived well into the Cretaceous.

Some later thyreophores survived longer, notably Ankylosaurus, which died out with the rest of the non-avian dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

A computer simulation by Gabriel Díaz Yantén, a Chilean paleoartist and paleontology student at the National University of Río Negro, brought the new species to life.

It shows what he might have looked like when he walked the Earth.

The discovery was revealed in a newspaper called Scientific reports.

KILLING THE DINOSAURS: HOW A CITY-SIZED ATEROID ELIMINATED 75% OF ALL ANIMAL AND PLANT SPECIES

About 66 million years ago, non-avian dinosaurs were wiped out and more than half of the world’s species were wiped out.

This massive extinction paved the way for the rise of mammals and the appearance of man.

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

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

The collision released a massive cloud of dust and soot that triggered global climate change, wiping out 75% of all animal and plant species.

The researchers say the soot needed for such a global catastrophe could only come from a direct impact on rocks in the shallow waters around Mexico, which are particularly rich in hydrocarbons.

Within 10 hours of impact, a massive tsunami swept across the Gulf Coast, experts said.

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

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

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

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

Called spherules, these small particles covered the planet with a thick layer of soot.

Experts explain that the loss of sunlight caused a complete collapse of the aquatic system.

In effect, the phytoplankton base of almost all aquatic food chains would have been eliminated.

It is believed that the more than 180 million years of evolution that brought the world to the Cretaceous were destroyed in less than the lifespan of a Tyrannosaurus rex, which is around 20 to 30 years.

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