Fearsome New Species of Stegosaur May Be the Oldest Ever Discovered in the World

Bashanosaurus primitivus – the newest and oldest species of stegosaur in Asia. Credit: Banana Art Studio

Bashanosaurus primitivus roamed the earth around 168 million years ago during the Middle Jurassic period, suggesting that stegosaurs may have originated in Asia.

Relatively small, but fearsome-looking stegosaur measured about 2.8 meters (9 feet) from nose to tail—but scientists can’t tell whether the remains are those of an adult or juvenile.

A new species of one of the most recognizable types of dinosaur is the oldest stegosaur ever found in Asia, and one of the earliest unearthed anywhere in the world, according to research published today in the peer-reviewed Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Remains of the stegosaur, which included bones from the back, shoulder, thigh, feet, and ribs, as well as several armor plates, date to the Bajocian stage of the Middle Jurassic period – much earlier than most known stegosaurs.

A team from the Chongqing Bureau of Geological and Mineral Resource Exploration and Development in China and London’s Natural History Museum named it Bashanosaurus primitivus – “Bashan” in reference to the ancient name for the area of Chongqing in China where the dinosaur was found, and the Latin for ‘first’ – primitivus.

The new dinosaur, which roamed the planet 168 million years ago, plays a part in uncovering how the stegosaurs evolved – of which, to this day, little is known.

It has a smaller and less developed should blade, narrower and thicker bases to its armor plates, and other features that are different from all other Middle Jurassic stegosaurs discovered so far. However, it does have similarities with some of the first armored dinosaurs, which are over 20 million years older.

“All these features are clues to the stegosaurs’ place on the dinosaur family tree,” says Dr. Dai Hui from Chongqing Bureau of Geological and Mineral Resource Exploration and Development who led the research. “Bashanosaurus can be distinguished from other Middle Jurassic stegosaurs, and clearly represents a new species.

“What’s more, our analysis of the family tree indicates that it is one of the earliest-diverging stegosaurs along with the Chongqing Lizard (Chungkingosaurus) and Huayangosaurus. These were all unearthed from the Middle to Late Jurassic Shaximiao Formation in China, suggesting that stegosaurs might have originated in Asia,” adds Hui.

Instantly recognizable by the huge back plates, long tail spikes, and tiny head, stegosaurs were four-legged, plant-eating dinosaurs that lived during the Jurassic and early Cretaceous periods. Stegosaur fossils have been found on all continents except for Antarctica and Australia, and 14 species of stegosaur have been identified so far.

Well-known members of Stegosauria include Huayangosaurus (one of the most primitive stegosaurs), Gigantspinosaurus, notable for its enormous shoulder spines, and Miragaia for its extremely long neck. However, the fragmentary fossil material has hindered attempts to understand how the stegosaurs evolved and how they relate to one another.

With the discovery of this new species the mystery has started to clear up. Bashanosaurus primitivus has several primitive features that are similar to the earliest stegosaurs like Huayangosaurus and Gigantspinosaurus and early-branching thyreophorans (armored dinosaurs). These include longer tail vertebrae, a shoulder blade that is narrower and flares out, and features of the back vertebrae that are similar to the early armored dinosaur Scelidosaurus, which lived during the Early Jurassic.

The fossilized remains of Bashanosaurus also reveal a host of features that make it unique from other known stegosaurs. For example, the bony point at the end of the shoulder blade is small and less well developed than in other stegosaurs; a bony projection of the thighbone (fourth trochanter) is positioned below the middle of the shaft; and the bases of the armor plates curve outwards and are thicker than the plates on the backs of its later relatives.

“The discovery of this stegosaur from the Middle Jurassic of China adds to an increasing body of evidence that the group evolved in the early Middle Jurassic, or perhaps even in the Early Jurassic, and as such represent some of the earliest known bird-hipped dinosaurs,” says Dr. Susannah Maidment, co-author and paleontologist at London’s Natural History Museum.

“China seems to have been a hotspot for stegosaur diversity, with numerous species now known from the Middle Jurassic right the way through until the end of the Early Cretaceous period.”

Reference: “New Stegosaurs from the Middle Jurassic Lower Member of the Shaximiao Formation of Chongqing, China” by Dai Hui, Li Ning, Susannah C. R. Maidment, Wei Guangbiao, Zhou Yuxuan, Hu Xufeng, Ma Qingyu, Wang Xunqian, Hu Haiqian and Peng Guangzhao, 3 March 2022, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2021.1995737

DinosaursFossilsNew SpeciesPaleontologyPopularTaylor & Francis Group
Comments ( 10 )
Add Comment
  • mullach abu

    its a volcano eruption somewhere on the globe before 168,000,000
    168,000,000 and all this is happening approximately 90 degrees away in the scutum crux arm of the milky way galaxy
    its a volcano eruption somewhere on the earth globe after 168,000,000
    we have come a long way
    ya cant sing ya cant dance but ill tell u youll go far stegosaurus who

  • Babu G. Ranganathan

    Babu G. Ranganathan*
    (B.A. Bible/Biology)

    NOT MILLIONS OF YEARS OLD! Evolutionary dating (including radiometric dating) is not infallible science, is based on certain built-in assumptions, and has often been proven to be contradictory and inconsistent. Please read my popular Internet article, ARE FOSSILS REALLY MILLIONS OF YEARS OLD? Just google the title followed by my name.

    There’s a lot of evidence that the fossil layers were not deposited by gradual floods, which would have required millions of years. Rather, the evidence strongly points to a one world-wide flood, just as the Bible teaches. This one world-wide flood fossilized species and unleashed tremendous forces that changed the geology and topography of the earth.

    The fossil layers in the real world are not even found in the sequence taught in evolutionary textbooks. There are many places where fossils of complex creatures are found beneath simpler ones, and there are fossils of mixed species existing in the same stratum which classic evolutionary textbooks teach should have been separated by millions of years. Of course a biblical world-wide flood would generally have buried and fossilized marine animals first with amphibians, reptiles and mammals to follow. Evolutionists have interpreted all of this into an evolutionary scenario spanning millions of years.

    There is absolutely no proof of macro-evolution in the fossil record. The fossils of all species are found complete (not partially-evolved) with no evidence of actual transition from one kind to another. There are no fossils of fish, for example, with part fins, part feet to show that transition occurred from fins to feet. Besides this, partially-evolved species would be unfit for survival while waiting to be completed over millions of years.

    ONLY LIMITED EVOLUTION (micro-evolution or evolution within biological “kinds”) is genetically possible (such as the varieties of dogs, cats, horses, cows, etc.), but not macro-evolution, or evolution across biological “kinds,” (such as from sea sponge to human). All real evolution in nature is simply the expression, over time, of already existing genes or variations of already existing genes. For example, we have breeds of dogs today that we didn’t have a few hundred years ago. The genes for these breeds had always existed in the dog population but never had opportunity before to be expressed. Only limited evolution or adaptation, variations of already existing genes and traits, is possible. Nature is mindless and has no ability to design and program entirely new genes for entirely new traits.

    NEW SPECIES: Although new species can come into existence, they don’t carry any new genes. They’ve become new species only because they can’t be crossed back with the original parent stock for various biological reasons. A biological “kind” allows for new species but not new genes. Nature has no ability to invent new genes for new traits. Only limited variations and adaptations are possible in nature, and all strictly within a biological “kind” (i.e. varieties of dogs, cats, etc.).

    THE FEW “INTERMEDIATE” (SO-CALLED TRANSITIONAL LINKS) IN FOSSILS claimed by evolutionists are highly disputed, even among the evolutionists. If macro-evolution really occurred there should be billions of indisputable intermediate fossils, not a few disputable ones. There’s not one example of a so-called transitional link that all evolutionists can agree on, not one.

    What about the duck-billed platypus? It has traits belonging to both birds and mammals, but even evolutionists don’t argue that it’s a transitional link between birds and mammals.

    Some evolutionists use similarities of traits between species as an argument for transitional forms. This is not a good argument because the traits they cite are complete, fully-formed, and fully functional, not in any true process of transition from one type of structure into another.

    Genetic information, like other forms of information, cannot arise by chance, so it is more logical to believe that genetic and biological similarities between all forms of life are due to a common Designer who designed similar functions for similar purposes. It doesn’t mean all forms of life are biologically related!

    What about natural selection? Natural selection can only “select” from biological variations that are possible and which have survival value. It doesn’t produce genes or biological traits. That’s why it’s called natural “selection.”

    Many people have wrong ideas of how evolution is supposed to work. Physical traits and characteristics are determined and passed on by genes — not by what happens to our body parts. For example, if a woman were to lose her finger this wouldn’t affect how many fingers her baby will have. Changing the color and texture of your hair will not affect the color and texture of your children’s hair. So, even if an ape’s muscles and bones changed so that it could walk upright it still would not be able to pass on this trait to its offspring. Only changes or mutations that occur in the genetic code of reproductive cells (i.e. sperm and egg) can be passed on to offspring.

    What about the new science of epigenetics? Epigenetics involves inheritable factors which can turn genes on, but epigenetics doesn’t alter the DNA code itself.

    Modern evolutionists believe and hope that over, supposedly, millions of years, random mutations in the genetic code of reproductive cells caused by environmental radiation will generate entirely new genes for natural selection to use. This is total blind and irrational faith on the part of evolutionists. It’s much like believing that randomly changing the sequence of letters in a romance novel, over millions of years, will turn it into a book on astronomy! That’s the kind of blind faith macro-evolutionists have.

    Mutations are accidents in the genetic code, are mostly harmful, and have no capability of producing greater complexity in the code. Even if a good accident occurred, for every good one there would be hundreds of harmful ones with the net result, over time, being harmful, even lethal, to the species. At best, mutations only produce further variations within a natural species. Even so, mutations are not the best explanation for variations within a natural species.

    How could species have survived if their vital tissues, organs, reproductive systems, etc. were still evolving? A partially evolved trait or organ that is not complete and fully functioning from the start would be a liability to a species, not a survival asset. Plants and animals in the process of macro-evolution would be unfit for survival. For example, “if a leg of a reptile were to evolve (over supposedly millions of years) into a wing of a bird, it would become a bad leg long before it became a good wing” (Dr. Walt Brown, scientist and creationist) Survival of the fittest actually would have prevented macro-evolution (evolution across biological kinds!)

    All the fossils that have been used to support human evolution have been found to be either hoaxes, non-human, or human, but not non-human and human.

    The fossils show that all life came into existence as complete and fully-formed from the beginning, which is only possible by creation.

    Visit the author’s latest Internet site: THE SCIENCE SUPPORTING CREATION (This site answers many arguments, both old and new, that have been used by evolutionists to support their theory).

    Author of the popular Internet article, TRADITIONAL DOCTRINE OF HELL EVOLVED FROM GREEK ROOTS

    *I have given successful lectures (with question and answer period afterwards) defending creation before evolutionist science faculty and students at various colleges and universities. I’ve been privileged to be recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis “Who’s Who in The East.”

  • Mark Patrick Banish

    don’t listen to Babu, he is completely full of s***.

  • Creationists Killed Jesus

    That creationist article mentioned above is a well known scammers doorway. Don’t interact with anything associated with it.

  • wang

    Babu G. Ranganathan is really stupid

  • Fred

    I love Babu’s bio from LinkedIn. It starts “Although I work as a security officer, I am also a writer.”

  • JW

    An excellent article that breaks down and theorizes the extinction of dinosaurs and other extinct animals, and also explains the gap and opinion in the human evolution theory by Darwin. So many have come to hold onto the Darwinism theory as an alternate and widely acceptable view in opposition of the creation theory, that has been pushed onto young minds in the early years in the school system. I respect Babu G. Ranganathan’s opinion, and I don’t think his views are stupid as he has a B.A. in Bible/Biology and presented his argument in an intelligent manner. It’s refreshing to see that there are others that have an opinion that have been educated in our school system, that is different than the opinions and theory’s, taught by the teachers and professors in the current world order.

  • No not Babu

    Babu get some professional help!

  • mullach abu

    Babu G. Ranganathan*
    (B.A. Bible/Biology)
    NOT MILLIONS OF YEARS OLD! Evolutionary dating (including radiometric dating) is not infallible science, is based on certain built-in assumptions, and has often been proven to be contradictory and inconsistent. Please read my popular Internet article, ARE FOSSILS REALLY MILLIONS OF YEARS OLD? Just google the title followed by my name.
    Bible dating is not infallible science is based on certain built in human assumptions and has often proven to be contradictory and inconsistent please read the popular geology article are rocks thousands of years old
    There’s a lot of evidence that the fossil layers were not deposited by gradual floods, which would have required millions of years. Rather, the evidence strongly points to a one world-wide flood, just as the Bible teaches. This one world-wide flood fossilized species and unleashed tremendous forces that changed the geology and topography of the earth.
    There is lots of evidence that the rock layers were deposited by oceans of water which would have required millions of years of sea sand shore to build up
    the evidence strongly pointing to a one world wide flood is between the pages of a book but the evidence from pages of rock history tell a different tale
    The evidence for a world wide ocean flood would erase all species on terrestrial earth and all those living in the sea would swim to safety to crawl back out of the sea to dry land maybe to the changed geology and topography of the earth
    The fossil layers in the real world are not even found in the sequence taught in evolutionary textbooks. There are many places where fossils of complex creatures are found beneath simpler ones, and there are fossils of mixed species existing in the same stratum which classic evolutionary textbooks teach should have been separated by millions of years. Of course a biblical world-wide flood would generally have buried and fossilized marine animals first with amphibians, reptiles and mammals to follow. Evolutionists have interpreted all of this into an evolutionary scenario spanning millions of years.
    Could you confirm where these places in the world are
    you are providing no natural physical evidence for same
    There is absolutely no proof of macro-evolution in the fossil record. The fossils of all species are found complete (not partially-evolved) with no evidence of actual transition from one kind to another. There are no fossils of fish, for example, with part fins, part feet to show that transition occurred from fins to feet. Besides this, partially-evolved species would be unfit for survival while waiting to be completed over millions of years.
    could you provide the evidence for complete humans hundreds of millions of years old
    ONLY LIMITED EVOLUTION (micro-evolution or evolution within biological “kinds”) is genetically possible (such as the varieties of dogs, cats, horses, cows, etc.), but not macro-evolution, or evolution across biological “kinds,” (such as from sea sponge to human). All real evolution in nature is simply the expression, over time, of already existing genes or variations of already existing genes. For example, we have breeds of dogs today that we didn’t have a few hundred years ago. The genes for these breeds had always existed in the dog population but never had opportunity before to be expressed. Only limited evolution or adaptation, variations of already existing genes and traits, is possible. Nature is mindless and has no ability to design and program entirely new genes for entirely new traits.
    Fido is a new species of dog today he will be a fossil in a few years
    the genes for new dog species of fido existed hundreds of years ago but not the new dog species of fido where are the fossils of these genes for new dog species of fido ones do you have the evidence to back up your written statement
    the world wide flood buried the genes of the ancestors of new dog species of fido how many years ago how did the drowned ones transform into new dog species of fido
    NEW SPECIES: Although new species can come into existence, they don’t carry any new genes. They’ve become new species only because they can’t be crossed back with the original parent stock for various biological reasons. A biological “kind” allows for new species but not new genes. Nature has no ability to invent new genes for new traits. Only limited variations and adaptations are possible in nature, and all strictly within a biological “kind” (i.e. varieties of dogs, cats, etc.).
    A new species comes into existence by mating and carry the parents genes did nature invent these new genes for new traits
    THE FEW “INTERMEDIATE” (SO-CALLED TRANSITIONAL LINKS) IN FOSSILS claimed by evolutionists are highly disputed, even among the evolutionists. If macro-evolution really occurred there should be billions of indisputable intermediate fossils, not a few disputable ones. There’s not one example of a so-called transitional link that all evolutionists can agree on, not one.
    Is there were one world wide flood
    Then we should find one rock layer with evidence of all the new life forms plants of the ground birds of the air fishes of the sea insects of the fields beasts of the plains humans of the land and creepy crawlies of the underground that came to life after the flood do we see the evidence for that all over the globe or not
    What about the duck-billed platypus? It has traits belonging to both birds and mammals, but even evolutionists don’t argue that it’s a transitional link between birds and mammals. They never did either
    Some evolutionists use similarities of traits between species as an argument for transitional forms. This is not a good argument because the traits they cite are complete, fully-formed, and fully functional, not in any true process of transition from one type of structure into another.
    Just genetically transferred from mother and father parent to sibling young
    Genetic information, like other forms of information, cannot arise by chance, so it is more logical to believe that genetic and biological similarities between all forms of life are due to a common Designer who designed similar functions for similar purposes. It doesn’t mean all forms of life are biologically related!
    It is more logical to believe that genetic and biological similarities are due to a common mating and live reproduction birth between same forms of life
    What about natural selection? Natural selection can only “select” from biological variations that are possible and which have survival value. It doesn’t produce genes or biological traits. That’s why it’s called natural “selection.”
    Natural selection only selects males with females and from them 50% of the time a barren result is the norm 50% of the time a live birth is the norm and of this 50% how many will survive to natural select again it always produces genes and biological traits thats why its called natural selection
    Many people have wrong ideas of how evolution is supposed to work. Physical traits and characteristics are determined and passed on by genes — not by what happens to our body parts. For example, if a woman were to lose her finger this wouldn’t affect how many fingers her baby will have. Changing the color and texture of your hair will not affect the color and texture of your children’s hair. So, even if an ape’s muscles and bones changed so that it could walk upright it still would not be able to pass on this trait to its offspring. Only changes or mutations that occur in the genetic code of reproductive cells (i.e. sperm and egg) can be passed on to offspring.
    The morphing of an individual from four legged to two legged will not be passed genetically on to the offspring it never was it never will but you can teach your young one to walk upright on two feet rather than crawl on four limbs
    Only changes or mutations that occur in the genetic code of reproductive cells are passed on to offspring this is the only way the ancestor of the genes of new dog species of fido is a fossil thousands of years ago and that the genes of new dog species of fido hundreds of years ago are fossils and that new dog species of fido is a dog now and will be a new dog species of fido fossil soon
    What about the new science of epigenetics? Epigenetics involves inheritable factors which can turn genes on, but epigenetics doesn’t alter the DNA code itself.
    Modern evolutionists believe and hope that over, supposedly, millions of years, random mutations in the genetic code of reproductive cells caused by environmental radiation will generate entirely new genes for natural selection to use. This is total blind and irrational faith on the part of evolutionists. It’s much like believing that randomly changing the sequence of letters in a romance novel, over millions of years, will turn it into a book on astronomy! That’s the kind of blind faith macro-evolutionists have.
    Hello new dog species of fido of the astronomy book hello genes of new dog species of fido from the romance novel hello blind faith of the ancestor of the genes of new dog species of fido how is the novel book going hope its not blind faith in macro evolution you are relying on but rather lusty rauchy pitter patter love letters
    Mutations are accidents in the genetic code, are mostly harmful, and have no capability of producing greater complexity in the code. Even if a good accident occurred, for every good one there would be hundreds of harmful ones with the net result, over time, being harmful, even lethal, to the species. At best, mutations only produce further variations within a natural species. Even so, mutations are not the best explanation for variations within a natural species.
    Hundreds of harmful lethal mutations of new dog species of fidos one good new dog species of fido one what bad luck for the lost ones what good luck for new dog species of fido
    How could species have survived if their vital tissues, organs, reproductive systems, etc. were still evolving? A partially evolved trait or organ that is not complete and fully functioning from the start would be a liability to a species, not a survival asset. Plants and animals in the process of macro-evolution would be unfit for survival. For example, “if a leg of a reptile were to evolve (over supposedly millions of years) into a wing of a bird, it would become a bad leg long before it became a good wing” (Dr. Walt Brown, scientist and creationist) Survival of the fittest actually would have prevented macro-evolution (evolution across biological kinds!)
    How did the ancestor of the genes of new dog species of fido live let alone survive
    How did the genes of new dog species of fido live let alone survive
    How did new dog species of fido live let alone survive let alone fossilise
    How did the genes of new dog species of fido live and breed into that new doggy breed and fossilise how do they do it
    All the fossils that have been used to support human evolution have been found to be either hoaxes, non-human, or human, but not non-human and human.
    The fossils show that all life came into existence as complete and fully-formed from the beginning, which is only possible by creation.
    Only possible is very vague 1 in a 1000 chance babu your odds are pretty lousy
    Only probable is less vague 1 in a 100 chance
    Only real is precise exact definite 1 in a 1 chance
    Visit the author’s latest Internet site: THE SCIENCE SUPPORTING CREATION (This site answers many arguments, both old and new, that have been used by evolutionists to support their theory).
    Author of the popular Internet article, TRADITIONAL DOCTRINE OF HELL EVOLVED FROM GREEK ROOTS
    *I have given successful lectures (with question and answer period afterwards) defending creation before evolutionist science faculty and students at various colleges and universities. I’ve been privileged to be recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis “Who’s Who in The East.

    So babu the stegosaurus bashanosaurus primitives creation 168,000,000 million years ago did it exist
    So babu the rock layer 168,000,000 million years ago did it exist
    So babu is this rock layer page in the book of geology the romance novel the astronomy book or the babu comment
    And that rock layer is it the beginning of the book the middle of the book or the end of the book
    And where does the chapter on the flood come in to all this at the start of the end of the last chapter of the book or at the page that says 168,000,000 years or the page that says the middle of the 1000 chapter of the middle of the book

  • Alex

    So…The Flintstones REALLY IS A DOCUMENTARY!