In a startling new discovery that could rewrite the natural history textbooks, scientists have revealed that the stegosaurus, believed extinct 150 million years ago, ultimately evolved into Murray “Minty” Muirhead, a part-time guitar teacher from Tewkesbury.

Palaeontologists had previously believed the herbivore, with characteristic armour plating along the length of its spine, disappeared following the rise of specialist predators in the Cretaceous Period.

But new fossil evidence now suggests the dinosaur took a different evolutionary route culminating in Mr Muirhead, 29, who lives with his parents in a bungalow in Fowley Crescent.

Don’t look back

At a packed press conference, Dr Hannah Davenport, professor of evolutionary biology, said, “We have to rethink our entire prehistoric timelines.”

Mr Muirhead said he was “surprised and delighted” to be heir to the “iconic” stegosaurus.

“I’m pleased I got one of the good ones,” he told reporters, “Not like the Compsognathus, which is not much more than a lizard chicken. That’s what Larry evolved from. You know, Chicken Legs Larry from Kemerton?”

On the back of the revelation, Mr Muirhead said he was now reviving his ambition to hit the road with his covers band, Glittering Escapades.

“If I’ve learnt one thing from this experience,” he said, “It’s that you’re a long time dead.”