Archaeologists say they have discovered the remains of a new carnivorous dinosaur which lived in the Jurassic period and whose body reached 26 feet in length.
The remains were discovered at the Canadon Asfalto Formation in Chubut, southern Argentina and pertain to a newly discovered dinosaur which has been named Asfaltovenator vialidadi after the area it was discovered in.
The discovery was first published in Scientific Reports and Diego Pol, a researcher from the National Scientific and Technical Research Council who is one of the co-authors of the article announcing the discovery said: “The study of the skeleton, which includes the skull and the complete jaw, beside the arms and part of the legs, revealed an unusual combination of character which mixes characteristics of different families of the group of tetanurae.”
Tetanurae is a clade that includes most theropod dinosaurs (dinosaurs with hollow bones and three-clawed limbs).
The Asfaltovenator vialidadi’s body reportedly measured between six and eight metres (20 – 26 feet) in length, with its skull measuring between 70 and 80 centimetres (27.5 -31.5 inches) in length. The dinosaur was reportedly carnivorous.
Pol said: “One of the most important parts of this discovery is that the skull is very complete, something that is rare, and that we have 50 percent of the skeleton.”
Almost two dozen teeth were reportedly found with the remains which took five years to ready for analysis in the laboratory of The Museum of Palaeontology Egidio Feruglio, in the city of Trelew in Argentine Patagonia.
Pol added: “According to our analysis, this is the oldest species found so far in this big family (tetanurae).”
Tetanurae first appeared in the fossil record by the Early Jurassic period around 190 million years ago and by the Middle Jurassic had become globally distributed.
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