A Ghostly namesake
The newly discovered dinosaur, Zuul crurivastator (CRUR'-uh-vass-TATE'-or), had a short, rounded snout; large horns; and a gnarled appearance, just like Zuul, the fictional Gatekeeper of Gozer in "Ghostbusters."
The skeleton of Z. crurivastator was found in the Judith River Formation in Montana in 2016. The beast lived there about 75 million years ago. [Read the full story on the Zuul-like ankylosaurus and watch the video, with a cameo from "Ghostbusters" actor Dan Aykroyd]
Hence, the dinosaur's name translates to Zuul, destroyer of shins — a reference to the weapon-like club at the end of the dinosaur's tail.
Ankylosaurus dinosaurs likely used their tails for self-defense, as well as to fight rivals for mates and territory, the researchers said.
"Remarkably, [Zuul] is the first ankylosaurin skeleton known with a complete skull and tail club, and it is the most complete ankylosaurid ever found in North America," the researchers wrote in the study.
[Read the full story on the Zuul-like ankylosaurus and watch the video, with a cameo from "Ghostbusters" actor Dan Aykroyd]