Scientists discover new dinosaur with a face full of spikes


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Its full name is “Akainacephalus johnsoni” and it’s 76 million years old. Much like its relative, the well-known Ankylosaurus, it has a club for a tail. The thing that distinguishes Akainacephalus from any other dinosaur ever discovered? 

It has a face full of spikes.

dino

Andrey Atuchin/DMNS 2017

In fact, Akainacephalus literally translates to “spiky” or “thorny” head. 

Akainacephalus was an armoured dinosaur and it had to be, considering the fact it lived in the same time period as (and likely encountered) the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

The fossil remains were found in the Kaiparowits Formation of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, and put together by volunteer expert Randy Johnson. 

“It’s completely different from any other ankylosaurids that we’ve actually seen,” said Jelle Wiersma, who did a Master’s thesis on this discovery. 

“We are the lucky paleontologists to be the first to recognize this new species,” added Randall Irmis, Chief Curator of the Natural History Museum of Utah.



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