Photo: Raffaele Sergi


Paleontologists from the Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences said on Monday they found the 70-million-year-old remains of a megaraptor, making it one of the last carnivorous dinosaurs to inhabit the earth.

The discovery was made in the southern province of Santa Cruz in the middle of March this year. After studying the fossils, measuring 10 meters (32 feet), experts realized they were looking at the remains of a predatory dinosaur from the end of the “age of dinosaurs.”

“This is the moment, 65 million years ago, when the extinction of the dinosaurs occurs, and this new megaraptor that we now have to study would be one of the last representatives of this group,” Fernando Novas, the paleontologist in charge of the project, told Reuters.

Unlike the Tyrannosaurus rex, the megaraptors were slimmer and built for speed, with long tails that allowed them to keep their balance. They had muscular but elongated legs to take long steps, according to the specialist.

“The defining characteristic of the megaraptors was that they had very long arms and that their thumb ended in a claw of approximately 40 centimeters (15 inches),” allowing them to catch their prey, he said.

What did it seem like?

The megaraptor had lengthy, muscular arms with sickle-like claws and a protracted tail which supplied it with stability.

Slimmer and extra agile than the T. rex it’s thought to have used its arms and claws quite than its jaw as its principal weapon when searching its prey.

“It had powerful and elongated legs which allowed it to take big steps,” palaeontologist Aranciaga Rolando mentioned.

The scientists from the Natural Sciences Museum imagine it could have used its velocity to hunt ornithopods, plant-eating dinosaurs which walked on two legs.


The above story is based on materials provided by Natural Sciences Museum.
 
Top