Pegomastax Africanus, or as I affectionately refer to it, Porcu-spine McRawr, is the newest species of dinosaur to be discovered. If by “discovered” you mean “found three decades ago and just kind of ignored for a while.” Because apparently paleontologist Paul Sereno has better things to do than deal with some dumb old groundbreaking discovery.
This guy knew when he found the bones that they belonged to a completely undiscovered species, but got distracted by other things, like shiny objects, or Vanessa Williams winning Miss America. It was hard to focus in 1983! What was a paleontology student supposed to do with some random dino he found? Tell someone about it? “There was always a danger that someone would discover it and write about it, and I would read about it,” said Sereno, in what I can only assume was an interview with The Obvious Times. I guess you have to earn your degree before they tell you that when you spend all your time digging up old stuff, finding old stuff that’s not like anyone else’s old stuff is pretty spesh.
What really matters, though, is that this dinosaur is crazy. CRAZY AWESOME. Sereno describes it as a “bird, a vampire and a porcupine,” which is complex paleontologist speak for Pokey Winged Tooth Midget. It was less than a foot tall and weighed the same as a cat. If you’d been born 100-200 million years ago, you would have named it Mister Flufferton (possibly Mister Pokerton, or Rippy).
But wait. It had teeth. Big sharp ones. And a beak! It had teeth and a beak. This guy was not messing around. Giant under-bite machete mouth teeth. In a beak! What? Evolution used to have to so much more fun with templates.
If you want to read Paul Sereno’s full article, it’s posted on Zookeys
Image by Handout/Reuters
Original Article from Times Live