A new species of dinosaur was found in Argentina. Scientists discovered a previously unknown flesh-eating dinosaur with small arms, similar to T-Rex.
The newly discovered fossils belonged to a dinosaur which lived about 90 million years ago. It grew up to eight meters tall and had small fore arms that measured only 60 cm. Scientists believe the dinosaur used its powerful jaws to grab the prey.
At first, paleontologists thought they had found dinosaurs belonging to Carnotaurus or Gigantosaurus species, but they found a completely new dinosaur species, never seen before. A conference was held at the Buenos Aires’ Cultural Center for Science. Paleontologist Sebastian Apesteguia said that they nicknamed the creature “Gualicho”, after an aboriginal goddess of Patagonia.
Gualicho is also synonymous with bad luck, or mishap. Fossils were uncovered in 2007, in the Rio Negro province, in central Argentina. However, analysis began only in 2012. The “Gualicho” dinosaur is part of a family of dinosaurs which roamed the Southern Hemisphere some 90 million years ago.
Gualicho and other carnivorous dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus Rex are part of the Theropods family, the largest land predators. Over millions of years of evolution, their body size increased, their skull size got more massive, but their arms, claws, and number of digits shrunk. Early dinosaurs had five digits on their limbs.
Gualicho was around during the Cretaceous period, and it preyed on large Sauropods. T –Rex were around 25 million years later. Gualicho is a kind of distant relative of the T-Rex. The tiny front arms repeatedly evolved, in different dinosaurs, to smaller and smaller sizes and at the same time a reduced number of digits on the claws.
The fossils display a mosaic of features. Some parts of the skeleton resemble T-Rex and others resemble smaller dinosaurs. This discovery is going to reveal yet more secrets about the history of life and evolution of life on Earth.
This newly found dinosaur illustrates just how little we know about the dinosaur family tree. Modern day birds and chicken are distant relatives of feathered dinosaurs. These are the closest animals we’ve got to imagine what a dinosaur must have looked like. Or, we could just watch Jurassic Park.
Image Source – Pixabay