Two-hundred million years ago, a house-cat-size dinosaur that nibbled on plants roamed among Earth’s mightiest carnivores.
The tiny dinosaur, called Pegomastax africanus, was recently identified by Paul C. Sereno, a paleontologist at the University of Chicago, from some fossils originally found in South Africa about 50 years ago.
Although the finding was published in the journal ZooKeys today, The New York Times’ John Noble Wilford says that Sereno “apologized in an interview for not getting around sooner to this piece of research.”
Regardless, this less than two-foot long creature that was apparently covered in porcupine-like quills and weighed less than a modern house cat is pretty cool.
The tiny beast also had sharp fangs that were probably used for self-defence since the dinosaurs did not eat meat.
In the video below paleoartist Tyler Keillor from the University of Chicago creates a model of the little vegetarian.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.