New species of stegosaur identified in China-Xinhua

New species of stegosaur identified in China

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2022-03-04 15:09:58

BEIJING, March 4 (Xinhua) -- Chinese and British paleontologists have identified a new species of stegosaur from China, the oldest stegosaur ever found in Asia and one of the earliest unearthed anywhere in the world.

The study published on Friday in the peer-reviewed Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology described the remains of an armor-wearing, plant-eating dinosaur, including bones from the back, shoulder, thigh, feet, ribs and several armor plates.

The scientists dated the remains to the Bajocian stage of the Middle Jurassic period, much earlier than most known stegosaurs.

It means that the relatively small, but fearsome-looking four-legged dinosaur, measuring about 2.8 meters from nose to tail, roamed the planet about 168 million years ago. Scientists cannot tell if it was an adult or juvenile.

It possesses a smaller and less developed shoulder blade, narrower and thicker bases to its armor plates, which are different from all other Middle Jurassic stegosaurs discovered to date. But it has similarities with some of the first armored dinosaurs, over 20 million years older, according to the study.

"All these features are clues to the stegosaurs' place on the dinosaur family tree," said Dai Hui from the Chongqing Bureau of Geological and Mineral Resource Exploration and Development, who led the research.

The researchers named the dinosaur Bashanosaurus primitivus -- "Bashan" in reference to the ancient name for the area of Chongqing in China where the dinosaur was found, and the Latin word "primitivus" for "first."