Photos: Spiky-Headed Dinosaur Found in Utah, But It Has Asian Roots

Newfound ankylosaur

Newfound ankylosaur

(Image credit: Andrey Atuchin)

Researchers found the newly identified Akainacephalus johnsoni in Utah. It lived about 76 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period.

[Read more about the spiky ankylosaur]

Crocodilian peer

Newfound ankylosaur

(Image credit: Andrey Atuchin/DMNS)

The spikey head of Akainacephalus johnsoni. Its genus name was inspired by the Greek word "Akaina," which means "spike" or "thorn." The Greek word "cephalus" translates to "head," which, taken together, means "spikey head."

Ankylosaur tail

Newfound ankylosaur

The spiky head of Akainacephalus johnsoni. Its genus name was inspired by the Greek word "akaina," which means "spike" or "thorn," and the Greek word "cephalus," which translates to "head." So, taken together, it means "spiky head."

Ankylosaur tail

Newfound ankylosaur

(Image credit: Randall Irmis/NHMU)

Natural History Museum of Utah crew excavate the tail club of Akainacephalus johnsoni in 2009.

Tail vertebrae

Newfound ankylosaur

(Image credit: Randall Irmis/NHMU)

Carolyn Levitt-Bussian, a collections manager of paleontology at the Natural History Museum of Utah, excavates the tail vertebrae of Akainacephalus johnsoni.

Brushing away soil

Newfound ankylosaur

(Image credit: Randall Irmis/NHMU)

Another photo of Levitt-Bussian excavating Akainacephalus johnsoni's tail vertebrae.

Fossil tail

Newfound ankylosaur

(Image credit: Randall Irmis/NHMU)

The newly excavated tail vertebrae of Akainacephalus johnsoni that researchers unearthed in 2009.

Sunburn central

Newfound ankylosaur

(Image credit: Randall Irmis/NHMU)

A Natural History Museum of Utah field crew excavates the bones of Akainacephalus johnsoni.

[Read more about the spiky ankylosaur]

Skeletal reconstruction

Newfound ankylosaur

(Image credit: Jelle Wiersma/PeerJ)

A skeletal reconstruction of Akainacephalus johnsoni showing its preserved bones (top), as well as a reconstruction showing the top view (middle) and side view (bottom) of the dinosaur.

Newfound ankylosaur

(Image credit: Phase 2 Productions)

The exhibits team prepares Akainacephalus johnsoni for transport to the Past Worlds gallery at the Natural History Museum of Utah.

On the move

Newfound ankylosaur

(Image credit: Phase 2 Productions)

Bill Thomas, the exhibits preparator at the Natural History Museum of Utah, moves the Akainacephalus johnsoni specimen to the museum's Past Worlds exhibit.