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Thyreosaurus: Scientists Explore New Unique Dinosaur Fossil in Morocco

by Tunae
Thyreosaurus: Scientists Explore New Unique Dinosaur Fossil in Morocco

Thyreophora. Photo: SCI News

Rabat – Scientists have discovered in Morocco a fossil of Stegosaurus, one of the unique and best-known dinosaurs.

The scientists found the fossil in Morocco’s Middle Atlas Mountains.

Sci News said that the species lived in Northern Africa approximately 165 million years ago.

“Thyreophora is a diverse clade of herbivorous ornithischian dinosaurs composed of stegosaurs, ankylosaurs, and basal forms,” Mostafa Oukassou from the Hassan II University of Casablanca was quoted by the news outlet as saying.

The species features patterned armor and flat spikes on its tail. It also includes a small head, dermal armor, and bony plates, reports have said.

The expert emphasized that these species have an “extensive fossil record,” adding that Thyreophora could have been present since the early-middle  Jurassic period, a geological time frame  that spans from the end of the Triassic period 201.4 million years ago.

Sci News identified the discovery of Thyreosaurs atlasicus as important in contributing to understanding the “evolutionary history” of stegosaurs and other thyreophoran dinosaurs.

“The recent discoveries of Adratiklit and Thyreosaurus atlasicus provide insight into the early evolution of stegosaurs in the Middle Jurassic period of Africa,” Sci News quoted the authors of the study as saying.

Morocco has been home to many important historical and paleontological discoveries in recent years.

One of the high-profile discoveries was a 110,000-year-old Atlas lion fossil found in Morocco’s Essaouira in December 2022.

One of the other recent findings was in February, when scientists uncovered a surprising diversity of hadrosaurid dinosaurs, more commonly known as “duck-billed” dinosaurs, in phosphates dating back to the Maastrichtian period in Morocco.

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