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New dinosaur built like a tank

An armoured dinosaur, the Tatankacephalus cooneyorum, has been excavated in Montana.

“These were big dinosaur versions of a Sherman tank,” Bill Parsons said. “They were armored and they withstood whatever came at them, and they just kept going.” T. cooneyorum was about 15 to 20 feet (4.5 to 6 meters) in length.

And this dinosaur had its share of protection, with two sets of stubby horns, one on the cheeks and the other around its eyes, two thick domes at the back of the skull and thickened areas around the nasal region.

Bill Parsons suspects T. cooneyorum was covered with hundreds or even thousands of bony plates equipped with spikes and a tail tipped with a club, similar to other ankylosaurs. Such protection, along with a swinging clubbed tail, would have kept at bay any of the small dinosaurs around at the time, Parsons said.

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