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Minotaurasaurus (Nobu Tamura)


Minotaurasaurus (Greek for "Minotaur lizard"); pronounced MIN-oh-TORE-ah-SORE-us


Plains of central Asia

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (80 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 12 feet long and half a ton



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large, ornate skull with horns and bumps


About Minotaurasaurus:

A faint whiff of disreputability hangs around Minotaurosaurus, which was announced as a new genus of ankylosaur (armored dinosaur) in 2009. This late Cretaceous plant eater is represented by a single, spectacular skull, which many paleontologists believe actually belonged to a specimen of another Asian ankylosaur, Saichania. Since we don't know much about how the skulls of ankylosaurs changed as they aged, and hence which fossil specimens belong to which genera, this is a far from uncommon situation in the dinosaur world.

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