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A Dinosaur's Weapon

A Dinosaur's Weapon

Above: The Stegouros elengassen with its iconic tail!

A new 74 million year old species of dinosaur has been discovered in Chile with an impressive tail. The armored herbivore Stegouros elengassen was equipped with a sturdy tail that was surrounded with flat bony plates on either side. It would use these plates as defensive slashing tools to fend off predators.

We instantly thought of the Aztec macuahuitl weapon when we saw it, an ancient weapon consisting of obsidian blades set into a wooden bat. When you look at the animal, it's easy to see the resemblance!

A modern macahuitl

Above: A modern recreation of a macahuitl

The stegosaurus is smaller than other armored dinosaurs like the ankylosaurus or stegosaurus, but its unique tail weapon was quite a surprise to paleontologists. The discovery shows the difference in evolution that armored dinosaurs from the southern hemisphere underwent as opposed to their northern relatives.

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