New dinosaur gets its name from ‘Ghostbusters’

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Ghostbusters was a classic movie that will go down in history, now in more ways than one.

Scientists with the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada recently discovered and named a new species of dinosaur that bears a striking resemblance to Zuul, the villainous demigod dog-beast form the 1984 comedy classic.  In the words of Dr. Victoria Arbour, one of the scientists involved, “Once we put it out there we couldn’t not name it that.”

Zuul Crurivastator was native to what is now Montanna about 75 million years ago.  It belongs to a classification of dinosaurs called Anklyosaurs. This means it had a low, flat body covered in armored plates. They also had a long, club like tail for defense.  They were estimated to be about 20 feet long and weighing over two and a half tons. Even still, their legs were short, meaning they were shorter than the average person.  Crurivastator actually translates to “destroyer of shins”

Despite all the armor and weaponry, anklyosaurs were herbivores, meaning they lived off of ferns and shrubs.  They were generally peaceful and not aggressive to other creatures.

Z. Crurivastator was one of the most complete sets on ankylosaur remains ever found. It’s one of the few cases in history where the skull and tail club of the same specimen have been found. And even more impressive, it was found on accident. Some machinery was being used to unearth a different dinosaur skeleton bumped into the remains of Zuul’s tail club. Talk about a lucky find!