Scientists Name a Dinosaur After a Ghostbusters Villain

nearly-pristine-ankylosaur-fossil-found-in-montana

It’s what’cha gonna call it.

In “Ghostbusters”, Sigourney Weaver became possessed by Zuul, telling Bill Murray that she is “the gatekeeper”, searching for the “keymaster” (Rick Moranis).

The Zuul crurivastator (which means, “destroyer of shins“) was found in Montana, lived about 75 million years ago.

Zuul would be easy to recognize based on the shape of the horns at the back of the skull and by the rough, peaked ornamentation along the snout and in between the eyes on the forehead”. Researchers said the species name was inspired by the giant club at the end of its tail. Named Baby Louie, the embryos were considered orphan dinosaurs because scientist couldn’t find any traces of their parents. A herbivore, the average specimen would have been around 6 metres long and weighed about 2.5 metric tonnes.

It was discovered while scientists were digging up another dinosaur and a bulldozer apparently encountered the Zuul’s tail.

To pay homage to this useful skill, the researchers gave the newly discovered dinosaur the official scientific name Zuul crurivastator, which roughly translates to “Zuul, destroyer of shins“.

Museum staff said Zuul’s skeleton, which was excavated from a quarry in Montana, is awesome well preserved.

The dinosaur is one of the most complete specimens ever found belonging to the armoured ankylosaur group, featuring a complete skull, a tail club and preserved soft tissues.

Evans and his colleague Victoria Arbour, a postdoctoral fellow at the ROM, made a decision to name it Zuul crurivastator, after the fictional monster from the original Ghostbusters film.

“The preservation of the fossil is truly remarkable”.

The museum plans to display the entire dinosaur skeleton at an upcoming exhibit, but likely not for a few years as paleontologists are still studying it. “It was the size and shape of the tail club and tail spikes, combined with the shape of the horns and ornaments on the skull, that confirmed this skeleton was a new species of ankylosaur”. It’s partly because of the name, I’ll admit, but it’s exciting to see such a complete fossil – especially with gobs of soft tissue preserved. The dinosaur was discovered in northern Montana in the Judith River Formation and is a close relative of the ankylosaurs.

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