Pegomastax africana, the Jurassic vampire porcupine dinosaur that weighed less than a cat


Parrot beak, vampire fangs and spikes all over the body. Sounds like anything but an ugly dinosaur. But without a doubt, the african pegomastax It is one of the strangest dinosaurs on record.

Small and rare, this member of the heterodontosaur family lived 200 million years ago in what is now South Africa and has been investigated again thanks to a professor at the University of Chicago, Paul Sereno.

According to the report on the Muy Interesante website, Sereno was studying the fossil collection of Harvard University for research on heterodontosaurs. It was during this investigation that he discovered the African Pegomastax, a species without previous investigations.

The remains held by Harvard include a partial skull, upper and lower jaws, and pieces of teeth.

This dinosaur was discovered in the sixties in an expedition in the Elliot Formation, a paleontological site in the Cape province precisely in South Africa.

What was the dinosaur like?

The African Pegomastax it was less than 60 centimeters long and weighed less than a cat. It was a dwarf dinosaur of the heterodontosaurus family, which comprises an important early branch of small herbivores that developed over about 100 million years, between the late Triassic and early Cretaceous.

african pegomastax

The image reconstructed by the researchers shows that this species looks anything but a dinosaur. Being called the Jurassic vampire porcupine was earned by its short parrot beak, two pointed front fangs, and back teeth on both jaws that it used to crush plants..

The most striking thing about his fangs is that they were highly developed, despite the fact that he was a herbivore. In addition, it had a body covered with quills like a porcupine, a strange feature for a dinosaur.

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