New Dinosaur Alert! Spiky, Armored Dinosaur Named After Zuul From ‘Ghostbusters’

First Posted: May 12, 2017 04:00 AM EDT

A newly discovered dinosaur species has been named Zuul after a dog-like monster from the Hollywood movie “Ghostbusters.” The Zuul crurivastator, meaning destroyer of shins, roamed on Earth around 75 million years ago.

According to Canada’s Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Zuul belonged to the ankylosaurid species. It was an armored dinosaur with a spiky 10-foot-long tail. The description may sound scary but the 5,500-pound (2,495-kilogram) dinosaur was most probably an herbivore.

"I had really wanted to use that for a long time and I was saving it for a specimen with a really well preserved tail," study lead author Dr. Victoria Arbour said, referring to the name “Zuul,” as reported by CNN. "I was not going to get a better choice than with this fellow."

Dr. Arbour also added that the spikes running down Zuul’s tail were unlike anything seen in a North American ankylosaur. The shape and size of the tail spikes and tail clubs, along with the shape of the horns and ornaments on the skull, confirmed that the skeleton discovered in the U.S. state of Montana was a new species of ankylosaur.

The Atlantic reported that this particular Zuul was partially mummified after its death. Therefore, the skeleton has retained many features that are truly rare in dinosaur fossils. These include impressions of the dinosaur’s skins, bony scales called osteoderms and even some dark films that could have represent traces of keratin. The research team feels that such features will help them understand what Zuul looked like when it was living and breathing.

Meanwhile, who did they call on discovering a dinosaur that resembled a "Ghostbusters" monster? Obviously, the writer and actor of the movie -- Dan Aykroyd -- who also stopped by ROM to meet the real-life Zuul.

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