Amazing Armoured Dinosaur Zuul Goes on Display

The ankylosaurid named Zuul (Z. crurivastator), is the centrepiece of a new exhibition that opened this week at the Royal Ontario Museum, (Canada).  The exhibition is entitled “ZUUL: Life of an Armoured Dinosaur” and it tells the tale of how this beautifully-preserved dinosaur fossil was discovered and what it can tell us about life in the Late Cretaceous some 76 million years ago.

Zuul – Destroyer of Shins

Zuul crurivastator exhibit opens at the Royal Ontario Museum.

A life reconstruction of the giant armoured dinosaur from Montana Zuul crurivastator.

Picture Credit: Royal Ontario Museum

Commenting on this new addition to the Museum’s galleries, Royal Ontario Museum Director and CEO Josh Basseches stated:

“We are thrilled to be introducing Toronto and the world to an extraordinary new dinosaur.  The acquisition of Zuul represents a significant new addition to our globally renowned collection of dinosaurs and fauna.  With the generous support of presenting sponsor Sinking Ship Entertainment, and our team of renowned palaeontologists and exhibition developers, we look forward to presenting a truly unique exhibition that will inspire and delight visitors of all ages.”

Cutting Edge Technology to Showcase Ancient Armoured Giant

The exhibition uses a combination of engaging video games, digital images and animations along with full-sized murals that recreates northern Montana/southern Alberta during the Campanian faunal stage of the Late Cretaceous.

This is the first time that the fossilised remains of Zuul have been put on display anywhere in the world.  Touchscreens will let visitors rotate 3-D views of Zuul’s original fossil pieces, while life-size touchable bronze models of Zuul’s skull, armour, skin, and tail club will permit visitors to feel what it would have been like to touch the living dinosaur.  An animal named after a monster from the 1984 film “Ghostbusters” , Zuul was named in honour of the horned, demi-god Zuul, the Gatekeeper of Gozer from the movie.

A Replica of the Zuul Fossil Material Being Attacked by a Gorgosaurus

Zuul being attacked by a Gorgosaurus.

A replica of the Zuul fossil material being attacked by a tyrannosaurid (Gorgosaurus).

Picture Credit: Royal Ontario Museum

Dr David Evans, the exhibition’s lead curator and one of the palaeontologists that formally named and described this Ankylosaur, commented:

“In this multi-faceted exhibition, visitors will see the breath-taking Zuul fossil up close and through a treasure trove of incredible fossils found alongside the skeleton, learn more about Zuul’s diverse ancient world.  Zuul: Life of an Armoured Dinosaur will spark curiosity about our distant past and the evolution of life over time.”

To read Everything Dinosaur’s article on the discovery of this remarkably complete (95% of the skeleton has been preserved), armoured dinosaur: Zuul – The Destroyer of Shins

The Beautiful and Fantastically-well Preserved Skull of Zuul crurivastator will be on Display as Part of the Exhibit

The very nearly complete skul of Zuul crurivastator.

The beautifully-preserved skull of Zuul crurivastator will be on display as part of the exhibit.

Picture Credit: Royal Ontario Museum

From the Judith River Formation of Montana

Heralding from the famous Judith River Formation, Zuul crurivastator is one of the most complete Ankylosaur fossils ever found.  It has a complete skull and tail club as well as preserved skin and other soft tissues that will provide a rare and exciting opportunity for new, cutting-edge scientific research.  Zuul was acquired by the ROM in 2016 through the generous support of the Louise Hawley Stone Charitable Trust.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a press release from the Royal Ontario Museum in the compilation of this article.

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