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What do you get when you cross a dinosaur and a porcupine? This badass.

It’s an absolute fact of nature that dinosaurs are fucking awesome. And it seems like every time someone discovers a new dinosaur, it ups the awesome bar. Like this beauty, with fangs and spikes like a porcupine. I want one of these as a pet.

Pegomastax africanus, a 2-foot-long (0.6-meter-long) heterodontosaur that lived about 200 million years ago. 

Heterodontosaurus was a genus of small, fanged dinosaur species that were “scampering around between the toes of other dinosaurs at the dawn of the dinosaur era,” said study author Paul Sereno, a National Geographic Society explorer-in-residence. (National Geographic News is a division of the Society.)

Covered in porcupine-like quills and sporting a blunt, parrot-like beak, P. africanus would’ve looked like a “strange little bird,” said Sereno, a paleontologist with the University of Chicago.

But its fangs, Sereno argues, were more like those of the piglike peccary (picture) or fanged deer, or water chevrotain (video)—modern-day, plant-eating mammals that use their teeth for self-defense and foraging.

The species, he added, would have lived along forested rivers in southern Africa around the time the supercontinent Pangaea had just begun to split into the northern and southern landmasses.


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