Farmers in China have unearthed the nearly complete skeleton of a juvenile armored dinosaur that may be one of the largest ankylosaurs, suggesting this group of beasts grew big early in their evolutionary history.

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An awesome find.  China has been uncovering quite a large number of important dinosaur remains.  Very cool. 

The article points out that this particular specimen is early on the evolutionary tree, as it hasn't evolved the clubbed tail yet. 

Love these pics!

My goodness! How did Noah get all of them in the ark?

He didn't.  That's why they're extinct.  Duh.  ^.^

Looks like a giant version of the armored dildo. Did they find any in Texas?

They could be relatives of the armadillo. Incidentally, they are disappearing here, as have the reptile that gave my college its mascot, "horned toads." Just as tequila doesn't come from a cactus, properly speaking, horned toads are reptillian; perhaps global warming and the droughts have wiped them out. As a child, I saw quite a few and they were scary. But now that i have taken biology nothing like that scares me. Geckos the first time I saw one of our big albino-pink ones, but they seem to have decreased in number, too. Armadillos move slowly at it used to be common on country roads to see them squashed out, or dying on the edge of the road, a shame I am told because some hunters here swear the meat is a delicacy. They're obviously prehistoric.

We lived in El Paso, William Beaumont Army Medical Center housing for two years and caught horned toads for pets. They loved to have their tummies rubbed, and to be stroked. He/she/it would move its body to the place it wanted to be petted and looked like a smiling Buddha when pleased. They ate ants and we had lots of ant hills around our housing unit. They were totally tame and seemed to like our company. We kept it loose outside and it didn't leave. We just made sure there was always fresh water for it. 

Great story, thanks.

I like that story Joan.  When I was young, dad took us to the sand dunes several times where he loaded the truck with sand, and we caught horned toads to put in the sandbox he made.  I thought those critters were the coolest.

I don't remember them enjoying rubbing, but my memory that far back is sketchy.

It is sad to see wildlife dwindling. Is it alarmist to say that we are witnessing the start of another great extinction? 

Ankylosaurs are not especially close to armadillos. The last common ancestor of these two clades was the basal amniote, sort of a lizard. That's the same last common ancestor that all us mammals have with all the "reptile" side of the family: turtles, lizards, crocs, birds, dinosaurs etc. I'm guessing ankylosaurs were loners. Anyone know? Wikipedia doesn't say. 

It is sad to see wildlife dwindling. Is it alarmist to say that we are witnessing the start of another great extinction?

Hell, if anything, I'd say you're being a little over-cautious, with your usage of the words 'start of'.

Since China is better off financially, they seem to be doing more research about everything.

We visited Drumheller, Alberta, several years back & what a fascinating place that was! While holding 65 million year old bones in our hands, I was trying to understand how people could think the earth was 6000 years old!


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