Ziapelta sanjuanensis is a new ankylosaurid from the Kirkland Formation of New Mexico. The holotype consists of a complete skull, two partial cervical half rings (neck armour plates), and miscellaneous osteoderms. It was contemporary with the Kaiparowits formation, however Ziapelta shows little resemblance to what ankylosaur remains have been found there. What’s really interesting about this ankylosaur is where phylogenetic analysis has recovered it - Ziapelta is much closer to other North American ankylosaurs such as Euoplocephalus and Scolosaurus than its contemporary, Nodocephalosaurus. Astonishingly, Nodocephalosaurus recovers within a clade of Asian ankylosaurs including Tarchia and Pinacosaurus. What this exactly implies for the radiation of derived ankylosaurids is currently not clear.
The PalaeoFellows only just heard about this and did not feel like drawing an ankylosaur (well no, I admit, it’s just me), so we didn’t produce a reconstruction for Ziapelta. Reconstruction up top by Sidney Mohr.