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New dinosaur species named after Zuul from 'Ghostbusters'

With an eerily-familiar face and a clubbed tail that packs a nasty punch, the newly discovered ankylosaur's full name translates to "Zuul, Destroyer of Shins."


Life rendering of Zuul crurivastator, a newly discovered ankylosaur species.

Danielle Dufault/Royal Ontario Museum

Keymasters, take note -- there's a new dinosaur in the books named Zuul, Destroyer of Shins.

Discovered in Montana and currently housed at the Royal Museum of Ontario in Canada, the horned ankylosaur fossil bared enough of a resemblance to the dog-like demon from the 1984 film "Ghostbusters" for its discoverers to name it in Zuul's honor, per their report, published today. The full name is Zuul crurivastator -- the latter bit literally translates to "destroyer of shins," a reference to the armored, plant-eating creature's low profile and clubbed tail, which paleontologists suggest it would swing at predators as a sledgehammer-like defense mechanism.

The Royal Museum of Ontario says Zuul's 75 million-year-old skeleton is one of the most complete ever found for an ankylosaur -- particularly the tail. Researchers were able to identify Zuul as a new species thanks to its distinctive horns and the unique ornamentation of its armored plates.

No word yet on when to expect the coming of Gozersaurus, but I'm sure there's a paleontologist named Venkman somewhere who's hot on the case.