The newly unearthed skeleton of the Ankylosaurid – a large-bodied “armored” herbivorous dinosaur that lived in the Cretaceous Period – may indicate that members of this dinosaur family may have enjoyed digging. by, according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports. This specimen, known as MPC-D 100/1359, may help us understand more about Ankylosaurid behavior during the Late Cretaceous (84-72 million years ago).
Yuong-Nam Lee and colleagues unearthed the skeletal remains of specimen MPC-D 100/1359 from a mineral deposit in the Baruungoyot Formation in the southern Gobi Desert, Mongolia, where it was discovered. in the 1970s. The authors suggest that some anatomical features of MPC-D 100/1359 may indicate that the Ankylosaurids during this period evolved and possessed some new behaviors that differed from their counterparts. them in the past.
The bones in its front part are arranged in a shallow arc, which may give it the ability to dig soft soil. The fusion of several vertebrae and reduced number of bones in its hindquarters compared with other dinosaurs may have helped them dig or move its tail more smoothly. The MPC-D 100/1359’s body shape is wider in the middle, but narrower at the front and rear, which may have helped keep its body straight when digging.
The authors speculate that MPC-D 100/1359 may have dug the ground for water, minerals, or plant roots for food and may have even crouched in shallow pits to protect its soft lower body. from predators.