‘Ghostbusters’ Dinosaur? New Species Looks Like Zuul

Newly discovered dinosaur resembles Zuul from 'Ghosbusters'
A life-size re-creation of the newly discovered armored dinosaur named Zuul crurivastator from northern Montana is seen in this illustration provided by the Royal Ontario Museum. Danielle Dufault/Royal Ontario Museum/Reuters

A recently discovered dinosaur that roamed the earth about 75 million years ago apparently looks a whole lot like Zuul, the evil monster from the 1984 hit movie Ghostbusters. Naturally, the team behind the discovery named the ancient species Zuul cruivastor.

The creature, whose skeleton is on display at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Canada, has a short, round snout and horns behind its eyes, similar to the villainous ghost Dan Aykroyd and his ghost-busting team defeated in the film, ROM said in a press release announcing the dinosaur’s discovery Tuesday. Zuul was the giant ghost in the movie that possessed Sigourney Weaver’s character, Dana Barrett.

Along with the horn-like ornaments along the dinosaur’s body, it had a long, weaponlike knob tail, which gave it the name cruivastor, or “destroyer of shins.” Although a new species, the reptile is considered to be a family member of the ankylosaurid ankylosaur, who also had a large knob tail. Researchers believe Zuul’s 10-foot-long tail, which features rows of large, sharp spikes, was used to fight off predatory dinosaurs by hitting them on the legs.

The dinosaur’s well-preserved skull was discovered in Montana and was transported to the Canadian museum in 2016.

“I’ve been working on ankylosaurs for years, and the spikes running all the way down Zuul’s tail were a fantastic surprise to me, like nothing I’ve ever seen in a North American ankylosaur,” said Victoria Arbour, lead author of the study behind the dinosaur’s discovery and a postdoctoral fellow at ROM and the University of Toronto’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, in a statement.

“It was the size and shape of the tail club and tail spikes, combined with the shape of the horns and ornaments on the skull, that confirmed this skeleton was a new species of ankylosaur,” Arbour said. She added that Zuul would have been about 20 feet long and weighed around 5,500 pounds.

Zuul is not the only cool dinosaur scientists have recently spent time on. The discovery comes just a few days after researchers from the University of Calgary in Alberta finally determined the species of dinosaur in embryos that were found in eggs in central China back in 1992, The New York Times reported.

The embryos were considered orphan dinosaurs, named Baby Louie, because scientist couldn’t find any traces of their parents. The eggs, considered to be the largest dinosaur eggs ever discovered, measured around 18 inches long and 6 inches wide. Only recently have scientists been able to link the eggs to a group of large, birdlike dinosaurs called oviraptorosaurs.

Baby Louie is considered to be a new species of oviraptorosaurs called Beibeilong sinensis, which translates to “Chinese baby dragon.”