Newly discovered dinosaur had 'weaponized tail'

Dinosaur skeleton being unearthed.
Dinosaur skeleton being unearthed. Photo credit GettyImages

Chris Pratt beware, a new species of dinosaur has been discovered in Chile, and it is said to have been armored with a weaponized tail, unlike any other dinosaur.

The dinosaur has been named Stegouros elengassen and was announced in a new study published in the journal Nature on Wednesday.

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The creature measured in at roughly 6.5 feet in size, and the small armored dinosaur called an ankylosaurus has been dated to the late Cretaceous period. This means the creature roamed the Earth around 71.7 million to 74.9 million years ago.

The mostly complete fossilized skeleton was found in Magallanes province in Patagonia, the southernmost region of Chile.

According to the study, the dinosaur had evolved a large weapon-like tail that has not been seen in any other dinosaur.

The tail had seven pairs of flattened spikes, much like the Stegosaurus, and a club-like tail, the same seen in an Ankylosaurus.

The study said that with its skull having features of an Ankylosaurus, it was "bizarre" to see the weaponry on its tail. The spikes looked to be bony deposits fused together in a frond-like structure, according to the study.

"The tail is extremely strange, as it is short for a dinosaur and the posterior half is encased in dermal bones (bones that grow in the skin) forming a unique (tail) weapon," Sergio Soto Acuña, the main author of the study and a doctoral student at the Universidad de Chile, said in an email to CNN.

Acuña said that the tail resembled a rattlesnake's tail, but unlike the snake, it had bones under the scales.

The fossil was initially found in 2018.