Stegosaurus is one of the most popular and well-known dinosaurs, identifiable by the diamond-shaped plates marching down its back from the base of its neck to the end of its spiky tail. A new specimen unearthed in the mountains of Morocco shows that the prehistoric species is much older and more geographically wide-ranging than paleontologists previously believed.
The specimen, which is thought to represent a new species and genus of stegosaurs, was identified by a team led by Susannah Maidment of the Natural History Museum in London, reports the Press Association. The fossils found in Morocco's Middle Atlas Mountains only include a few vertebrae and an upper arm bone, but it was enough to identify the bones as belonging to one individual stegosaur. The team has named the species Adratiklit boulahfa, which means “mountain lizard” in the Berber language. The paper appears in the journal Gondwana Research.