168-million-year-old ankylosaur fossil found in Morocco

It is an unprecedented discovery. A previously unknown dinosaur fossil has been found in the Middle Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Its review was published in the scientific journal Nature. According to our colleagues from RFI , this fossil was purchased by the Natural History Museum in London from a private collector. It is a rib adorned with spikes. It comes from an ankylosaurus. The existence of this type of herbivore had already been attested in Canada or the United States.

On the other hand, it is the first time that an ankylosaurus, a sort of large reptile that can reach 7 m in length and weigh 4 tons, has been discovered in Africa. And this discovery is all the more exceptional as this ankylosaur specimen was until then unknown.

Points welded to the bone

The fossil indeed shows that the points that adorn the back of the animal were welded to the bone, thus forming an integral part of the skeleton. This is shown by this 3D model posted on Twitter by one of the researchers and co-author of the article, Susie Maidment.

It is also the oldest specimen of ankylosaur discovered in the world since it dates 168 million years ago.