“There is no dino, only Zuul.”
A new dinosaur discovered in 2014 has been named after the demon Zuul from Ghostbusters. The ankylosaurid fossil now goes by the name Zuul crurivastator. From the recreation shown above, it certainly looks terrifying, but this dinosaur was a herbivore. And it’s now on display at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, or, at least its skull and tail is. The rest of the dinosaur is still being carefully excavated from the sandstone that encased it.
Releasing this unusually detailed fossil is achingly precise work, but it will be well worth it. Ankylosaur fossils are rare, and even when they are found, they’re often scattered like puzzle pieces due to the decay process. With Zuul, it’s almost as if the whole animal was instantly turned to stone.
“It’s among the very, very best-in-class of specimens out there,” says paleontologist Victoria Arbour, a curator at Canada’s Royal BC Museum and an ankylosaur expert. Already, the scientists can see broken armor along its flank, a clue that Zuul sustained battle damage from other ankylosaurids.
“The quality of the armor and skin preservation has exceeded our wildest dreams,” adds Royal Ontario Museum paleontologist David Evans, who is studying the dinosaur.