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.