posted on Jun, 25 2013 @ 06:15 PM
A cow-like reptile that may have been one of nature's ugliest beasts roamed an isolated desert before the age of the dinosaurs.
The creature's genus name - bunostegos - means 'knobby roof' and gives a clue to its appearance.
About the size of a domestic cow, the plant-eater had bulbous tumour-like growths sprouting from its head and bony armour down its back.
Fossils from bunostegos dating back around 260 million years to the Permian era were found in what is now northern Niger in Africa.
Bumpy-Faced Cow-Sized Reptile
Roamed the Ancient Desert
Archaeologists at the University of Washington discovered three Bunostegos skulls in the rocks of the Moradi Formation in Niger. The details
behind these fossilized remains will be published in next month's issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
The skulls are believed to date back to the late Permian period, more than 250 million years ago, and older than many dinosaur fossils seen today in
Geological data also shows that central Pangea was extremely dry, which would have prevented the movement of animals in and out of the region.
Dr Gabe Bever, from the New York Institute of Technology, said: 'Our understanding of the Permian and the mass extinction that ended it depends on
discovery of more fossils like the beautifully bizarre bunostegos.'
Looks like a science project gone wrong........
Very strange and yet, interesting.
[MODS: Wasn't sure which forum to place this in........Please move if needed]
edit on 25-6-2013 by snarky412 because: (no reason given)