Chinese researchers, along with colleagues from the London Natural History Museum in the UK, have found fossils of a previously unknown species of stegosaurus.
The found stegosaurus lived 170 million years ago. Its size reached 2.8 m – this is less than that of other representatives. For comparison, their length was up to 9 m.
It was assigned to the species Bashanosaurus primitivus. “Bashan” is the ancient name of the area of Chongqing in China where the dinosaur was found, and primitivus is “the first”, “earliest” in Latin.
According to the authors of the work, the dinosaur had unique features that were not relatives. For example, less developed humerus, as well as narrow plates of armor, dense at the base.
This stegosaurus was also similar to the first dinosaurs with dense “armor”, which lived 20 million earlier. Among the common features is the absence of depressions in the vertebrae. Scientists have suggested that this species is a lost link in the evolution between early and subsequent species.
Our analysis of the family tree shows that it is one of the earliest stegosaurs along with the Chungking lizard (Chungkingosaurus) and Huayangosaurus.
Dai Hui, doctor from the Chongqing Bureau of Geological and Mineral Research
Hui notes that all of these species were found in China, suggesting that Asia was the ancestral home of all stegosaurs.
The researchers said that their work will help to learn more about the features of the evolution of stegosaurs, since little was known about this until now.