SCIENTISTS have discovered new fossils from northern Niger in Africa that provide evidence that a lumpy, cow-sized reptile once roamed the isolated desert 250 million years ago.
The reptile has been named Bunostegos which means "knobby roof" because of its structure.
According to the description of the creature published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, the reptile belongs to a new genus of pareiasaur - plant-eating creatures that flourished during the Permian period.
Previous studies have established that earth was dominated by a single super-continent called Pangaea.
Researchers find it fascinating that while most pareiasaurs had bony knobs on their skulls, the bunostegos was found to have the largest and most lumpy knob on its skull.