An animatronic model of a Tyrannosaurus
An animatronic model of a TyrannosaurusREUTERS/Tim Wimborne

Researchers have discovered a new group of dinosaurs possessing distinctive traits like parrot-like beak, porcupine bristles and several other features not found in previously identified creatures of the same genus.

Palaeontologist Paul Sereno from the University of Chicago published his findings of 200-year-old fossil remains of the newly discovered dinosaur named Pegomastax Africanus in the online journal ZooKeys on Wednesday. The study described the entire texture and fossil analysis of the species.

The fossils of the dwarf herbivores were first hauled out from a slab of rocks excavated in South Africa in 1960s, and Sereno had identified the species in 1983 when he was a student at the American Museum of Natural History.

For his recent study, Sereno singled out the fossil while preparing to make inclusive analysis of heterodontosaurs and was surprised by the number of years it took to discover the species which was laying in the heap of excavated rocks.

"My eyes popped, as it was clear this was a distinct species," Sereno said according to The New York Times.

Among the physical attributes the Pegomastax africanus measured two-feet in length and also had canine-like fangs which were possibly used to pluck fruits or plants. While some argue that the species used to eat meat, Sereno held to the point that they likely used the teeth for self-defense.

"It would have looked like Dracula," Sereno told LiveScience. "Probably appropriate, since we're now moving toward Halloween."