KUNMING  -   Scientists have found a new taxon of armored dinosaurs (Thyreophora) from the Early Jurassic in southwest China’s Yunnan Province.  The findings were published Wednesday in the biological journal eLife, elaborating on research on an associated partial skeleton that includes a skull, axial, limb, and armor elements, said the vertebrate research team of the School of Life Sciences, Yunnan University. The new taxon, named Yuxisaurus kopchicki, was identified based on numerous cranial and postcranial autapomorphies. It was further distinguished from other thyreophorans by a unique combination of character states, noted the research paper. The armored dinosaurs are generally believed to have lived during the Late Jurassic 150 million years ago.  The fossil of the dinosaur was first found in the Jiaojiadian village, Yunnan’s Yuxi City, buried in the Lower Jurassic strata 190 million years ago.

“It is the earliest known thyreophoran dinosaur found in Asia so far,” said Bi Shundong, corresponding author of the paper.