Friday, October 5, 2012

'Vampire' dinosaur had bristles and fangs





Pegomastax would have lived 200 million years ago and could shed light on the evolution of other species.

One of the most unusual dinosaurs, Pegomastax sported a set of vampire-like fangs along with a coat of porcupine-like bristles and a beak like a parrot. A relatively small creature at 2 feet in length it would have resembled something like a two-legged porcupine. "The bristles were not quite as strong as a porcupine's, and they don't look as if they were especially effective for insulation," said paleontologist Paul Sereno. "Perhaps they had colors and helped differentiate species, or made Pegomastaxlook bigger than it actually was to potential predators."

It is believed that its set of vampire-like fangs would have been used in conjunction with its beak to help it break open seeds, nuts and fruits. "It would have looked like Dracula," said Sereno. "Probably appropriate, since we're now moving toward Halloween."



The ancient creature, which was found 50 years ago in southern Africa but drew relatively little attention until now, may shed light on the evolution of the major group of dinosaurs that included famous giants such as Stegosaurus and Triceratops.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

click here to join the PowerBar Club and start earning money!

Join The PowerBarClub and earn money now!