Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Volume 600 Issue 7888, 9 December 2021

Armed response

Armoured dinosaurs are widely recognized for their tail weapons, which include spikes in stegosaurs and tail clubs in ankylosaurs. In this week’s issue, Alexander Vargas and his colleagues present a new species of ankylosaur with an unusual tail weapon that resembles an Aztec war club. Found in southern Chile, the nearly complete skeleton of Stegouros elengassen dates to around 75 million years ago. The large tail weapon consists of seven pairs of flattened, bony deposits fused together in a frond-like structure. The researchers were able to determine that Stegouros is specifically related to the other Gondwanan ankylosaurs Kunbarrasaurus from Australia and Antarctopelta from Antarctica. They suggest that different branches of the ankylosaur family tree may have existed in Laurasia and Gondwana following the final separation of these supercontinents in the late Jurassic period.

Cover image: Mauricio Álvarez Abel

This Week

Top of page ⤴

News in Focus

Top of page ⤴

Books & Arts

Top of page ⤴


Top of page ⤴


Top of page ⤴


  • News & Views

    • The molecular mechanisms involved in human gastrulation, a crucial stage in early embryonic development, have been largely elusive. Gene-expression data from a gastrulating human embryo shed light on this process.

      • Alexander Goedel
      • Fredrik Lanner
      News & Views
    • Plants offset a large fraction of Earth’s carbon dioxide emissions, but estimating the size of this carbon sink relies on differing terrestrial-biosphere models. Combining multiple models with data has now reduced the uncertainty.

      • Chris Huntingford
      • Rebecca J. Oliver
      News & Views
    • Natural killer cells can destroy cells infected by SARS-CoV-2, but this immune-system defence malfunctions in people with severe COVID-19. Will this finding drive a search for ways to reinvigorate natural killer cells in such cases?

      • Emilie Narni-Mancinelli
      • Eric Vivier
      News & Views
    • Direct imaging has revealed the existence of a large planet orbiting a binary system that contains the most massive planet-hosting stars detected so far. The discovery challenges existing models for how planets and stars form.

      • Kaitlin Kratter
      News & Views
    • Nature’s pages feature changes in the number of topics a science lecturer might cover, and official rules about who can be called a chemist.

      News & Views
    • Artificial activation of neurons identified in a brain region called the cerebellum reduces food intake in mice. The findings could have implications for people with appetite disorders.

      • Richard Simerly
      • Ralph DiLeone
      News & Views
  • Articles

Top of page ⤴

Nature Index

  • Their goals may be different, and so may the paths they are taking to reach them, but the universities aged 50 and under featured in this Nature Index supplement are proof that youth need not be a barrier to strong research performance.

    Nature Index
Top of page ⤴
Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing


Quick links