Discovery of a small dinosaur, 100 million years old
A small, previously unknown armored dinosaur was discovered in southern Argentina, paleontologists announced on Thursday, August 11.
It is likely that the dinosaur was walking in an upright position on its hind legs and roaming on the surface of the Earth, which was saturated with water vapor about a hundred million years ago.
Scientists said that the dinosaur that lived in the Cretaceous period, called Jackabile Kanyukura, was well protected by a row of armor in the form of bone plates along its neck and back and down to its tail. Its length was about one and a half meters, and its weight was between four and seven kilograms, which is similar to a medium-sized domestic cat.
Its fossilized remains were uncovered over the past decade near a dam in Patagonia in the La Potrera excavation area in the Rio Negro region, and scientists described the jackabelle in a study published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Scientists said that the Jackabelle represents the first discovery of its kind of an armored dinosaur from the Cretaceous period in South America. It belongs to the family of therophoran dinosaurs known for their bony back plates and pointed tail, as well as the tank-like ankylosaurus, covered in armor, and with a stick-like tail.
Paleontologist Sebastian Apisteguia and his colleagues found part of a jackabelle's skeleton with 15 tooth segments resembling those of an iguana.
Jackabile resembles the thyrophoran in its primitive form, although the latter lived much before the Cretaceous period, which surprised scientists.