Today I learned:
There is a genus of ankylosaurs named Zuul after “demon and
demi-god Zuul, the Gatekeeper of Gozer, featured in the 1984 film
The type species of Zuul is Zuul crurivastator, which means
“Zuul, destroyer of shins”. Wikipedia says:
The epithet … refers to a presumed defensive tactic of
ankylosaurids, smashing the lower legs of attacking predatory
theropods with their tail clubs.
My eight-year-old self is gratified that the ankylosaurids are believed to attack their enemies’ ankles.
The original specimen of Z. crurivastator, unusually-well
preserved, was nicknamed “Sherman”.
Here is a video of Dan Aykroyd discussing the name, with Sherman.
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