(dr) Jorge Blanco / Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology
Llukalkan aliocranianus art print
The new dinosaur, the size of an elephant and with huge claws and sharp teeth, dominated the southern hemisphere for 80 million years.
“The one who causes fear”. It was in this way that a team of Argentine researchers baptized the Llukalkan aliocranianus, a new dinosaur whose remains were recently discovered in Patagonia, says the newspaper ABC.
80 million years ago, this predator would certainly have caused terror wherever it went, thanks to its incredible size (it could reach five meters in length), its sharp teeth and enormous claws.
According to the Spanish daily, while tyrannosaurs dominated the northern hemisphere, abelisaurids did the same in the southern hemisphere. It is theropod family, composed of about ten species known to this day, roamed mainly through Patagonia and other areas of the former Gondwana supercontinent.
According to the authors of the new study, published on March 30 in the scientific journal Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, O L. aliocranianus he may have been one of the members of this family that stood out the most.
Among the fossils found was a strange skull, very well preserved, whose shape and rough bones reveal that the head of this dinosaur had protrusions and prominences just like some modern reptiles.
However, the most different feature of this new species is a small, airy posterior sinus in the middle ear area, which has never been seen in any other abelisaurid.
This discovery indicates that their hearing was different from that of other abelisaurids, that is, it would be probably better and similar to that of modern crocodiles.
Although it was an important discovery, much remains to be explored. “This discovery suggests that there are probably more abelisaurids out there that we haven’t found yet, so let’s look for other new species,” said Federico Gianechini, a paleontologist at the National University of San Luis and one of the study’s authors.
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