The specimen is the first stegosaur
, a thyreophoran dinosaur, to be found in North Africa.
have been found in North America, Asia, and Europe.The species has been named Adratiklit boulahfa, a tribute to Morocco.
The team took many of the newly unearthed stegosaur
bones back to the lab for detailed analysis.
are normally known for their short forelimbs and short necks, and are generally considered to be low browsers.
Parts of the stegosaur
's tail vertebrae that we excavated weren't fused as they would be in an adult, so the creature may have been a juvenile, says Susannah Maidment, a paleontologist from the University of Cambridge in England.
(2012): First record of stegosaur
dinosaur tracks in the Lower Cretaceous (Berriasian) of Europe (Oncala Group, Soria, Spain).
Main and his colleagues looked at the plate configurations on many different stegosaurs
of several species.
The Denver museum contains fossils of a stegosaur
for which a tail spike had snapped off near the base.
Until recently, Dacentrurus was the only stegosaur
documented in the Late Jurassic of Europe.
The dinosaur family tree includes three main branches: theropods, typically two-legged, meat-eating animals; sauropodomorphs, typically the four-legged, long-necked plant eaters; and ornithischians, the "bird-hipped" dinosaurs that included famous groups like the stegosaurs
and the horned dinosaurs.
We all rode to work on stegosaurs
and my best friends were my neighbors, Betty and Barney Rubble.
Main RP, de Ricqles A, Horner JR, Padian K (2005) The evolution and fuuction of thyreophoran dinosaur scutes: implications for plate function in stegosaurs
. Paleobiology 31: 291-314.