NEW DISCOVERY: The fossilized remains of a never-before-seen armored dinosaur the size of a house cat have been unearthed in Argentina. Computer simulation brings new species Jakapil kaniukura to life (pictured)

Never-before-seen armored dinosaur unearthed in Argentina

The fossilized remains of a never-before-seen armored dinosaur the size of a cat and a row of protective spines from neck to tail have been unearthed in Argentina

  • Never-before-seen armored dinosaur remains unearthed in Argentina
  • Experts say species Jakapil kaniukura looks like primitive relative of Stegosaurus
  • Weighs as much as a house cat and may grow to be about 5 feet (1.5 m) long
  • May represent lineage of armored dinosaurs previously unknown to science

The fossil remains of a never-before-seen armored dinosaur the size of a house cat have been unearthed in Argentina.

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

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

Experts say J. kaniukura has a row of protective spines from its neck to its tail that may have grown to about 5 feet (1.5 meters) long.

It was a herbivore – with leaf-like teeth similar to those of Stegosaurus – likely walked upright and had a short mouth capable of delivering a strong bite.

NEW DISCOVERY: The fossilized remains of a never-before-seen armored dinosaur the size of a house cat have been unearthed in Argentina. Computer simulation brings new species Jakapil kaniukura to life (pictured)

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

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

According to paleontologists at the Félix de Azara Natural History Foundation in Argentina, the species may have been able to eat hard woody vegetation.

Partial skeletons of dinosaurs have been found in the province of Rio Negro in northern Patagonia.

It joined Stegosaurus, Ankylosaurus, and other armored dinosaurs to form a group called Thyroophora.

Most thyreophorans come from the northern hemisphere.

Fossils of the earliest members of the group also date more generally to the Jurassic period, between about 201 million and 163 million years ago.

The discovery of J. kaniukura “suggests that the geographic distribution of early thyreophorans was much more widespread than previously thought,” paleontologists Facundo J. Riguetti, Sebastián Apesteguía and Xabier Pereda-Suberbiola wrote in the new paper.

Partial skeleton of dinosaur found in Rio Negro province in northern Patagonia

Partial skeleton of dinosaur found in Rio Negro province 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 the group also date more generally to the Jurassic period, between about 201 million and 163 million years ago.

Fossils of the earliest members of the group also date more generally to the Jurassic period, between about 201 million and 163 million years ago.

Dinosaurs are herbivores Has leaf-like teeth similar to Stegosaurus ¿Possibly walks upright and has a short beak that provides a strong bite

The dinosaur was a herbivore — with leaf-like teeth similar to those of Stegosaurus — likely walked upright and had a short mouth that could take a bite.

Along with Stegosaurus, Ankylosaurus, and other armored dinosaurs, it formed a group called Thyroophora

Along with Stegosaurus, Ankylosaurus, and other armored dinosaurs, it formed a group called Thyroophora

Surprisingly, this ancient lineage of beetles survived until the late Cretaceous period in South America, they added.

In the Northern Hemisphere, most of these older types of beetles appear to have gone extinct by the mid-Jurassic.

However, on the southern supercontinent Gondwana, they apparently survived well into the Cretaceous period.

Some later thyreophorans survived longer—including Ankylosaurus, which went extinct along with other non-avian dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

Computer simulations by Chilean paleoartist and paleontology student Gabriel Díaz Yantén from the National University of Rio Negro bring this new species to life.

It shows what it looks like when it walks on Earth.

The findings were published in a journal called Scientific Reports.

Killing the dinosaurs: How a city-sized asteroid wiped out 75% of plant and animal 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 mass extinction paved the way for the rise of mammals and the emergence of humans.

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

The asteroid struck the shallow waters of what is now the Gulf of Mexico.

The collision released huge clouds of dust and soot that triggered global climate change that wiped out 75 percent of plant and animal species.

The researchers claim that the soot necessary for this global catastrophe can only come from direct impacts on rocks in shallow waters around Mexico, which are rich in hydrocarbons.

Experts believe a massive tsunami swept the Gulf Coast within 10 hours of the impact.

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 the underlying 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.

While investigating the event, researchers found small rock particles and other debris that were shot into the air when the asteroid crashed.

These small particles, called globules, cover the Earth with a thick layer of soot.

Losing sunlight can lead to a complete collapse of aquatic systems, experts explain.

This is because virtually all of the phytoplankton base of the aquatic food chain will be wiped out.

It is believed that the more than 180 million years of evolution that brought the world to the Cretaceous period was destroyed in less than the lifespan of T. rex (about 20 to 30 years).

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