Fossilized remains of cat-sized, armored dinosaur discovered in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES — Palentologists have identified a new dinosaur species after uncovering the fossilized remains of an armored, house cat-sized creature in Argentina.

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According to Reuters and Popular Science, researchers believe the Jakapil kaniukura lived 100 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period. The small dinosaur – a thyreophoran like Stegosaurus or Ankylosaurus – was covered in bony armor, weighed up to 15 pounds and was just 5 feet long, scientists wrote in a study published Thursday in Scientific Reports.

Palentologists participated in multiple digs over 10 years to unearth 15 tooth fragments and part of the dinosaur’s skeleton near Cerro Policía in northern Patagonia, according to the study.

“Jakapil kaniukura ... is the first definitive thyreophoran species from the Argentinian Patagonia,” the study’s authors, Facundo J. Riguetti, Sebastián Apesteguía and Xabier Pereda-Suberbiola, wrote of the bipedal dinosaur in their abstract.

“Jakapil also shows that early thyreophorans had a much broader geographic distribution than previously thought,” the authors continued. “It is a member of an ancient basal thyreophoran lineage that survived until the Late Cretaceous in South America.”

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