Meet the ‘Thunder Reptile’: T-Rex’s carnivorous smaller cousin who lived 90 million years ago is discovered in Argentina
- Researchers describe both a new gender and a new species from fossilized bones
- Fragments of skull, teeth, ribs, hip and tail were found in central Argentina
- The new species Tralkasaurus cuyi was a 14-foot long carnivorous dinosaur
The fossilized remains of a 90 million-year-old carnivorous dinosaur that is far related to the infamous T-rex have been discovered in Argentina.
The beast, christened Tralkasaurus cuyi, was a carnivorous 13-foot dinosaur. The name means ‘terribly reptile’ in the local language of Mapuche which is common in Patagonia.
The new species is said to have been reduced by its distant cousin, the Tyrannosaurus rex, which could reach over 40 feet in length.
Scroll down for video
Vertebrate paleontologist Sebastián Rozadilla’s impression of the Tralkasaurus cuyi, the first species described in the genus Tralkasaurus
Dinosaur remains – including fragments of skull, teeth, ribs, hip and tail – were discovered in the central Argentine province of Rio Negro.
The dinosaur skeleton was found on a plateau called El Cuy on the fossil site of the Violante farm.
The predator is thought to be partying with smaller herbivorous dinosaurs called iguanodontes.
These were found at nearby locations by the same team of paleontologists, along with other species such as turtles and lizards.
Map of the El Cuy region with the fossil site of the Violante farm where remains of the new species were discovered
Mauricio Cerroni at the Bernardino Rivadavia Museum of Natural Sciences in Buenos Aires. Left, maxillary bone, which is from the upper fixed bone of the jaw
Like the T. rex, this new species in the genus Tralkasaurus was a short-necked and muscular biped with four claws on each of its hind legs.
His arms were very short compared to the rest of his body and the bones of the creature’s limbs were light and hollow.
“The size of the Tralkasaurus body is smaller than other carnivores in its group – the abelisaurides,” Dr. said. Federico Agnolin, a researcher at the Argentinian Museum of Natural Sciences.
Remains of Tralkasaurus cuyi found in Río Negro contain fragments of skull, teeth, ribs, hip and tail
The ‘most imformative’ of the teeth of Tralkasaurus cuyi, in linguistic representation (the side at the tongue)
Other species in the abelisaurid family usually measured 23 to 36 feet.
The abelisaurides were part of the wider theropod clade of massive bipedal meat eaters with sharp claws.
The study of the new dinosaur is published in Journal of South American Earth Sciences.
The new species was found in the Ezequiel Ramos Mejía reservoir, 1 km from El Chocón.
“The Tralkasaurus cuyi, which is much smaller, reveals that the group of abelisaurus theropods covered a much broader ecological niche than previously thought,” said Mauricio Cerroni at the Bernardino Rivadavia Museum of Natural Sciences in Buenos Aires.
“Cervical ribs have been found that come from the neck and are very long, so it is thought that tendons are fossilized.
“One of the importance of this new discovery is that it helps us define the ecological habits of both carnivorous dinosaurs and herbivores.”
WHY ARE THE DINOSAUR HOURS EXCLUDED?
Dinosaurs ruled and dominated the earth about 66 million years ago, before they suddenly died out.
The Cretaceous Tertiary Extinction event is the name given to this massive extinction.
For many years it was believed that the changing climate destroyed the food chain of the enormous reptiles.
Paleontologists discovered a low iridium in the 1980s.
This is an element that is rare on Earth but is found in large quantities in space.
When this was dated, it exactly coincided with when the dinosaurs disappeared from the fossil record.
Ten years later, scientists discovered the huge Chicxulub crater at the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, which dates back to the relevant period.
Scientific consensus now says that these two factors are interconnected and both were probably caused by a huge asteroid that crashed on Earth.
With the projected size and collision speed, the collision would have caused a huge shock wave and probably caused seismic activity.
The precipitation would have created ash plumes that probably covered the entire planet and made it impossible for dinosaurs to survive.
Other animals and plant species had a shorter time span between generations that allowed them to survive.
There are several other theories about what caused the death of the famous animals.
An early theory was that small mammals ate dinosaur eggs and another states that poisonous angiosperms (flowering plants) killed them.