Scientists Discovered A Tiny New Dinosaur Species In Argentina

Jakapil kaniukura is thought to be a close relative of the Stegosaurus and Ankylosaurus, which are also well-known for their armor plating.

The subject of dinosaurs is something that tends to fascinate most of us. Even if we don’t consider ourselves to be an expert on the subject, it’s always interesting to think about those large reptiles roaming the earth millions of years before humans appeared on the scene.

Every once in a while, we also get a surprise when it comes to dinosaurs and that is what recently happened in southern Argentina. A tiny dinosaur with spines has been discovered.

Photo: Twitter/@paleogdy

This little dinosaur is thought to have been on earth approximately 97 million years ago. They are calling it Jakapil kaniukura, according to Science Alert. It seems as if this little fella was around when the dinosaurs disappeared during the Cretaceous period.

Gabriel Díaz Yantén is an artist and paleontology student who was there to re-create Jakapil kaniukura as a computer animation. It may just give us an idea of what this little dinosaur looked like so many millions of years ago.

The artist shared the animation on Twitter, saying: “Here is the first thyreophoran from Argentinian Patagonia. Such an honour [to] work with Sebastian Apesteguia, Facundo Riguetti, and Mauricio Álvarez to achieve this reconstruction.”

The dinosaur was introduced to the world through Nature.com. Jakapil kaniukura is thought to be a close relative of the Stegosaurus and Ankylosaurus, which are also well-known for their armor plating.

The difference between the newly discovered dinosaur and its relatives, however, comes in the size. Jakapil kaniukura was only about 5 feet long and may have weighed up to 15 pounds. This puts them in the same size category as a house cat.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

They think that Jakapil kaniukura walked on two legs and ate plants.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the discovery of this new dinosaur species is the indication that the Thyreophora group of dinosaurs was diverse as far as its size was concerned. This is also the first time they found a thyreophoran south of the equator, according to Science Alert.