If you've seen the movie "Ghostbusters" (oh please tell me you've seen the original one), you may have known a few, if not all, of its weird ghosts and monsters. From Slimer to the Marshmallow Man, who would've forgotten their iconic appearances?
Now, one them have actually been set to real life due to her uncanny similarities with a newly found dinosaur. Zuul, the Gatekeeper of Gozer, is a demonic dog-looking creature with blazing red eyes that possessed Dana Barnett in the movie. While the dinosaur's abilities may not be as mystical as hers, scientists from the Royal Ontario Museum or ROM in Toronto have named it after her.
"I half-jokingly said it looks like Zuul [from Ghostbusters]. The name just stuck," said lead author and an expert on Ankylosaurids, Victoria Arbour.
, a 75-milion-year old herbivore, is a new species of armored dinosaur or Ankylosaurid. Its skeleton, excavated in 2014 from the Judith River Formation of Montana, is nearly complete! Zuul's tail is three meters long, with sharp, bony spikes covering it. Its skull is also full which is "surprisingly rare" according to Arbour. "Sometimes you get forehead and part of a snout, but it's great to have a beautiful, complete skull," she said.
The dinosaur's preservation also kept some of its soft tissues, like scales, which some fossils and skeletons lack. This can lead to clues on early life especially on how these creatures lived at the "twilight of the dinosaurs" before their untimely demise. Arbour also added, "We'll be looking for keratin or other proteins we haven't even thought of before."
I guess Zuul's going to be more than just memes, subreddits and band names. What is with the trend of naming discoveries after pop culture characters, though?