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Story By: James King, Sub-Editor: Alex Cope, Agency: Newsflash
Chinese have found the fossil of a new dinosaur which would have had a huge club-like tale to defend itself.
The new dinosaur is reportedly from the genus ankylosaurus which were armour-plated dinosaurs that had huge bony tails that were used like a club to defend themselves. It lived at the same time as the Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops, in the Cretaceous period some 68–66 million years ago.
Experts have identified the fossil of a right ilium (hip bone) as that of an ankylosaurus, and named the new species “Sinankylosaurus zhuchengensis,” according to the Dinosaur Research Center of Zhucheng.
Previously the ankylosaurus was identified as having lived in western North America but the new specimen was found in the city of Zhucheng, in east China’s Shandong Province.
The discovery of the new species adds to the diversity of Zhucheng’s dinosaur fauna, and provides more insight into the lives of dinosaurs, said Zhang Yanxia from the Dinosaur Research Center of Zhucheng.
The findings have been published by the Geological Bulletin of China. (https://bit.ly/3hgZ1rT)
Zhucheng is China’s most important Late Cretaceous dinosaur fossil producing area. Previously, fossil materials of hadrosaurs, ceratopsidae, celoceratops, sauropods, tyrannosaurus, and oviparosaurus were discovered.
The other dinosaur species found in Zhucheng area are very similar to some dinosaur species found in North America. The experts say that the hadrosaurid dinosaur shandongosaurus in the Zhucheng area of Shandong and Edmontonosaurus in North America, for example, are closely related.
The giant Zhucheng Tyrannosaurus found was also a large carnivorous dinosaur of the Tyrannosaurus family, a close relative of North American Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Zhucheng is home to one of the largest dinosaur bone concentrations in the world, with a total fossil burial area of 1,600 square kilometres (617 square miles). Chinese researchers found the first dinosaur fossil in Zhucheng in 1964, and since then more than 10 dinosaur species have been found during excavations.
The Ankylosaurus would have grown to between six and eight metres (between 20 and 26 feet) when alive and weighed between 5 and 8 tonnes. Despite its huge size, a complete skeleton of the genus has never been recovered.
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