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Scientists Name New Species of Dinosaur After Zuul of ‘Ghostbusters’


We owe a lot to scientists — they cured polio, got us on the moon, and they’re doing their darnedest to stop us from methodically killing the planet. But man, what a bunch of nerds. It seems like every time biologists discover a new species of animal and need to give it a name, they take the opportunity to bust out a reference to their favorite bit of geek-approved pop culture. Lest we forget the velvet worm named after My Neighbor Totoro, and we’d be remiss to overlook the euglossa bazinga, a rare bee with a Big Bang Theory catchphrase as its namesake. And it appears that now the nerds are at it again.

The Wrap notes that researchers at Canada’s Royal Ontario Museum recently discovered a new species of ankylosaur, and bestowed upon it the title of Zuul crurivastator. (Fun fact: crurivastator means “destroyer of shins.”) Those of us familiar with widely beloved sci-fi, comedy classic Ghostbusters will recognize the nomenclature as an allusion to the Mesopotamian-era monster Zuul, which possessed Sigourney Weaver’s Dana in the film. The ankylosaur’s pointy face and protruding snout do give it a sort of Zuul-ish vibe, though it’s unlikely that the creature possessed the ability to seize control of other organisms, regardless of whether they’re in the middle of a date or not.

Ivan Reitman, your legacy is intact. As if giving the ’80s several of its most popular comedies was not enough, your name is now a permanent part of dino history. In the event that these eggheads manage to make Jurassic Park real within our lifetime, you get to ride the Zuul-o-saur.

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