A Self-Taught Paleontologist May Have Found A New Species Of Club-Tailed Dinosaur

Andre LuJan discovered one of the most complete skeletons of an ankylosaur ever found in a region spanning all of Central and South America and parts of the Southern U.S.

By Michael MarksApril 30, 2019 11:10 am, ,

Paleontologists with advanced degrees have spent years studying fossils, dreaming of finding the bones of a long-lost, hitherto unknown species. But now, a self-taught student of fossils from Texas has discovered what appear to be the well-preserved remains of a type of dinosaur that’s hard to find in the Western Hemisphere.

Andre LuJan is the owner of PaleoTex, a paleontology company based in Central Texas, and says what he found in West Texas in 2017 was a type of dinosaur known as an ankylosaur. LuJan says he may have even found an entirely new species.

“[Ankylosaurs] were covered in spiky body armor and had a iconic club tail,” LuJan says. “This one’s really special because it is the first-known fossil of its kind found in the state of Texas, and it is one of the most complete in the Southern U.S.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– What the defining characteristics of an ankylosaur are

– How LuJan determined whether he found a new species of ankylosaur

– How LuJan navigates conflict between academic paleontologists and self-taught ones like himself

Written by Caroline Covington.