Zalmoxes

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2023-07-18 Snargl 0 minute 0 second

What is the animal Zalmoxes known for?

Zalmoxes is a genus of rhabdodontid ornithopod dinosaur that lived in the Late Cretaceous, about 69 million years ago, in what is now Romania.
It is known for its large triangular head, its beak, and its possible connection to the Dacian deity Zalmoxis or the Albanian name for Albania.

Zalmoxes was first described by Franz Nopcsa in 1899 as a species of Mochlodon, a genus of small ornithopods from Austria.
Later, he renamed it as a species of Rhabdodon, another genus of rhabdodontids from Europe.
In 2003, David Weishampel and colleagues recognized that Zalmoxes was different enough from Rhabdodon to warrant its own genus.
They named it after Zalmoxis, a god of the Getae and Dacians, who was said to have retreated to an underground chamber for three years and then resurrected.

Zalmoxes is known from two species: Z. robustus and Z. shqiperorum.
The former is the smaller and more robust one, while the latter is the larger and more slender one.
Both species were herbivorous and bipedal, with a large triangular skull and a beak for cropping plants.
They had a long tail and short arms with five fingers.
They were about 2 to 2.5 meters (6.6 to 8.2 feet) long and weighed about 100 kilograms (220 pounds).

Zalmoxes lived in a region that was part of an island called Hateg Island, which was surrounded by the Tethys Sea.
This island had a diverse and endemic fauna, including dwarf dinosaurs, pterosaurs, crocodiles, turtles, and mammals.
Zalmoxes shared its habitat with other dinosaurs such as Telmatosaurus, Magyarosaurus, Struthiosaurus, and Balaur.

Zalmoxes is one of the most well-known dinosaurs from Romania, and it has been featured in several books, documentaries, and exhibitions.
It is also a symbol of the ancient culture and history of the region, as it may have been related to the mythical Zalmoxis or the Albanian people.
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Where does the Zalmoxes live?

Zalmoxes is a dinosaur that lived long ago
In the land of Romania, where the Danube flows
He was a small herbivore with a triangular head
And a beak for munching on the plants he fed

He was named after a god of the ancient Thracians
Who was said to be immortal and wise in all occasions
But Zalmoxes the dinosaur was not so lucky or divine
He met his fate in the Cretaceous, when a meteorite did shine

Now his bones are in museums, for the curious to see
And his name is still remembered, by the scholars who study
The history of life on Earth, and the wonders it did hold
Zalmoxes is a dinosaur, and this is his story told
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