Adratiklit Boulahfa is a new species of stegosaurus discovered by the scientists. Scientists have dated it to 168 million years ago. This makes it the oldest known member of that group of dinosaurs ever known.
The remains were discovered in the Middle Atlas Mountains of Morocco. It is also the first stegosaurus to be found in North Africa. The scientists believe it is not only a new species but also belongs to a new genus.
Why the name?
The name is derived from the words used by the Berber (an ethnic group indigenous to North Africa) for mountains (Adras), lizard (tiklit) and the area where the specimen was found. (Boulahfa).
- Adratiklit’s closest relative is the European stegosaurus Dacentrurus.
- The Adratiklit was armoured and herbivorous and lived on the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana, which later split into Africa, South America, Australia and Antarctica.
Most stegosaurus remains so far have been found in the northern hemisphere. But this may not mean that stegosaurs were uncommon in Gondwana. It may be due to the fact that Gondwana rock formations have been subject to far fewer excavations and detailed studies.