Not only is it the oldest definite stegosaur ever found, estimated to be 168 million years old, but it is also the first stegosaur to be found in North Africa.
Rabat – Paleontologists from the UK’s National History Museum, in collaboration with their Moroccan counterparts, have discovered a new species of stegosaurian dinosaur.
Not only is it the oldest definite stegosaur ever found, estimated to be 168 million years old, but it is also the first stegosaur to be found in North Africa. Previously, stegosaurs have been found in North America, Asia, and Europe.
The species has been named Adratiklit boulahfa, a tribute to Morocco. The name is derived from the Berber words for mountain (Adras) and lizard (tiklit). Boulahfa refers to the mountain where the specimen was found, in Morocco’s Middle Atlas.
The study was led by Dr. Susannah Maidment, a dinosaur expert at the museum. “The discovery of A. boulahfa is particularly exciting as we have dated it to the Middle Jurassic,” said Dr. Maidment in a statement from the museum.
“Most known stegosaurus date from later in the Jurassic Period, making this the oldest definite stegosaur described and helping to increase our understanding of the evolution of this group of dinosaurs.”
The landmark discovery could possibly lead to even further revelations for paleontologists, as more dinosaurs bones could be uncovered.
“What is exciting about this is that there could be many more armored dinosaurs to find in places that until now have not been excavated,” added Dr. Maidment.