All Hail Zuul, Dino 'Destroyer of Shins'

Newly discovered dinosaur named after 'Ghostbusters' baddie
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2017 6:13 PM CDT
New Dinosaur Named After Ghostbusters Baddie

If dinosaurs are only as cool as their names*, then it's going to be hard to out-cool the newly discovered Zuul crurivastator. "Zuul" obviously comes from the Ghostbusters baddie, who Reuters describes as a "big, horned, vaguely dog-like monster with glowing red eyes." The skull of the new species of ankylosaur has two sets of horns, giving it a distinctively Zuul-ish look. Ghostbusters star Dan Aykroyd, who helped the Royal Ontario Museum introduce Zuul crurivastator to the world, says they're "honored" to have a namesake dinosaur. Possibly even better than the Ghostbusters reference: "crurivastator" means "destroyer of shins." This part of the dino's name was inspired by its heavily spiked tail, which culminates in a sledgehammer-like club.

Zuul crurivastator lived 75 million years ago in what is now Montana, the Los Angeles Times reports. It was 20 feet long, weighed about 5,500 pounds, and subsisted on a diet of plants. According to Ars Technica, the skeleton was accidentally discovered by a team digging for T. rex remains when a bulldozer clipped its tail. It's one of the only complete ankylosaur skeletons in the world and was so well preserved the remains include mummified soft tissue and still-attached spikes. Researchers hope to use that soft tissue to figure out Zuul crurivastator's molecular biology. (World's largest dinosaur footprints found in Australia.)

*Editor's note: They are. (More dinosaurs stories.)

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