Paleontologists have found to have identified a new species of carnivorous dinosaurs. Called Siats meekerorum, this new variety is one of three largest species ever discovered in North America.
A formidable predator death there are several million years. This is the remarkable discovery that has announced a team of researchers in the journal Nature Communications. In the United States, they have indeed a new species of carnivorous dinosaurs that lived at the top there are about 100 million years Cretaceous. The specimen is the first of its kind to be discovered in North America.
In 2008, more precisely in the Cedar Mountain Formation in Utah that dinosaur bones have been found during an expedition led by the Field Museum. However, it took more than two and a team of volunteer specialists and por uncover the remains of the animal trapped in rocks and sediments years. “We were delighted to discover the first dinosaur of its kind in North America,” said Peter Makovicky of the Museum of Natural History in Chicago and co-author of the study.
This dinosaur is the second of the family carcharodontosaures, gigantic carnivorous dinosaurs, the first of them, the Acrocanthosaurus atokensis was discovered in 1950. According to estimates, the specimen found was over 9 meters and a mass exceeding 4 tonnes. However, it was only a young adult animal, according to paleontologists believed and an adult could be measured as an Acrocanthosaurus.
One of the largest predators
At present, scientists do not know exactly which of these dinosaurs in North America could be the larger of the two. The two cases do not exceed out in the famous Tyrannosaurus rex and 7 tons. “The dinosaur was a huge predator, second only to the big T. rex and perhaps after Acrocanthosaurus,” said in a statement Lindsay Zanno, lead author of the study.
With these measurements, the dinosaur was undoubtedly the main predator of its ecosystem. A status that has earned him the name Siats meekerorum in reference to a man-eating monster of an Indian legend. Remains the dinosaur belongs to a branch that was previously unknown in North America. Paleontologists believe that the Upper Cretaceous, the Siats covered an area equivalent to the state of Utah. It comes and fill a vacuum paleontological some 30 million years.
Indeed, the fossils found so far had left a vacuum in which the role of major predator was spent fangs carcharodontosaures lower than those of tyrannosaurs Cretaceous Cretaceous. Between the two, however, paleontologists do not really know to whom to attribute this role. But “carcharodontosaures reigned longer than in North America we were not expecting,” said Lindsay Zanno.
Opponents for tyrannosaurs
Researchers estimate that would have prevented Siats tyrannosaurs of his time, much smaller than the others, to reign at the top of the food chain. It was only after their demise that tyrannosaurs have evolved and become massive predators. “The big difference in size suggests that tyrannosaurs were kept in check by carcharodontosaures, and only became huge predators only after these have gone,” Makovicky detailed.
But this is not all that researchers have discovered the site of Utah. According to their explanation, at the time of Siats, the landscape was lush, rich in vegetation and water, allowing a wide variety of dinosaurs, turtles and crocodiles live there. Moreover, the bones of other predators, including tyrannosaurs and feathered dinosaurs have been unearthed in the same place but they have not yet been disclosed by the team.
“We still have other exciting discoveries, including two new species of dinosaur. Stay tuned. Plenty of other cool creatures that lived Siats” concluded Zanno.
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