Newly Discovered Dinosaur Had Awesome Mohawk Of Defensive Spikes

When it comes to dinosaurs, you may immediately think teeth, jaws, claws, and the amazing arsenal of weapons wielded by terrifying carnivores. But herbivores didn’t just rock up to the party unarmed; many had their own array of defensive weaponry: triceratops’ horns, for example, or ankylosaurus' tail club. Now we can add long, thin, sharp porcupine-esque spines that would make any meat-eater think twice, thanks to the newly discovered Bajadasaurus pronuspinax.

B. pronuspinax is a new species belonging to the Dicraeosauridae family of sauropods – herbivorous quadrupeds – closely related to the Diplodocidae, famous for their large size and long necks and tails. Bajadasaurus roamed the Earth 140 million years ago, at the beginning of the Lower Cretaceous, right in the middle of the sauropods’ heydey and long before titanosaurs would trample this part of the planet.  

Discovered in Argentine Patagonia by researchers from the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) and Maimónides University, in Buenos Aires, this new sample is the most complete skull of a dicraeosaurid yet.

What makes it really special though is its unusual neck spines, which seem to point in the wrong direction. Of the five known species of Dicraeosauridae, Amargasaurus cazaui also has neck spines, but they are much smaller, and point backward like a porcupine. B. pronuspinax has many more spines and they point over its head, reaching a length of xx.

Read more here.

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