Scientists are great, aren’t they? Their work helps to make the world a better place by furthering our knowledge of everything from the cosmos to the depths of the ocean. Given all their great work, it’s only fair that the world should allow the scientific community the odd moment of indulgence, especially when that indulgence is naming their discoveries after a monster from the Ghostbusters franchise.
A team of scientists from the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) recently made an exciting new discovery, identifying an ancient skeleton as a whole new form of ankylosaurid (that’s an armored dinosaur to you and me). The specimen represents one of the most complete ankylosaurid skeletons ever discovered, so the ROM team decided it should get a name befitting its status. Because geeks will always be geeks, the team decided to name their discovery Zuul crurivastator (Zool CRUR-uh-vass-TATE-or) after the famous Ghostbusters terror dog.
But, the skeleton actually has more in common with the Ghostbusters baddie than just its name. No, it can’t possess Sigourney Weaver and turn her into a horny, power-hungry monster, but as the team behind the discovery explain, it did actually look quite similar to the beast that emerges from a refrigerator…
Like Zuul, the new species has a short, rounded snout and prominent horns behind the eyes. The shape of the horns and the ornaments on the skull are what identified Zuul as a species new to science. Its species name, crurivastator, means ‘destroyer of shins’, and references the incredible weapon-like tail club found with the skeleton.
The geekiness doesn’t end there, either. Dan Aykroyd hopped over to the ROM to officially unveil Zuul to the rest of the world. Check it out in the video below: