Armoured dinosaurs are thought to have developed their thick skin as a way to defend themselves against predators.

However, paleontologists have recently discovered a new, well-preserved armoured dinosaur in Montana that offers a different explanation.

Zuul crurivastator was found in 2014 and has provided more clues to the lives of armoured dinosaurs. This species, whose scientific name means “destroyer of shins” due to its club tail, seems to have been fighting each other.

Some of its armour plates are damaged but show signs of regrowth, evidence they were damaged while it was living. This suggests that Zuul was getting into fights with members of its own species, perhaps over territory — or mates.

Face to face with a perfectly preserved dinosaur that looks like it was alive yesterday
100 million years ago, Alberta was a giant sea, surrounded by tropical forests
Sexing a fossil that's millions of years old

Watch the video above for the full story.

For more, watch Dinosaur Cold Case on The Nature of Things.

Photo courtesy of the Royal Ontario Museum.

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