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[firstname.lastname@example.org: Scientists unearth Tyrannosaurus Rex's big brother]
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From: email@example.com ("Martin Adamson")
Subject: Scientists unearth Tyrannosaurus Rex's big brother
Date: Fri, 17 May
Friday May 17 1996
Scientists unearth Tyrannosaurus Rex's big brother
By Roger Highfield, Science Editor
THE largest flesh-eating dinosaur ever found may have been
unearthed in the Moroccan Sahara, it is announced today.
Named Carcharodontosaurus saharicus - shark-toothed reptile from
the Sahara - it dates from the last chapter of dinosaur evolution
90 million years ago.
It was found, along with a new species of swift, "pursuit-type"
dinosaur, by a team led by Dr Paul Sereno, a University of Chicago
The Carcharodontosaurus specimen may be "the biggest meat-eating
dinosaur yet discovered," said Dr Angela Milner, head of the
fossil vertebrates division at the Natural History Museum.
Until today's announcement in the journal Science, evidence of
large carnivorous dinosaurs similar to Tyrannosaurus Rex had only
been found in North and South America and Asia. The find adds
Africa to the list.
"Every continent that we go to, we now see some kind of a gigantic
carnivorous animal," said Dr Mark Norell of the American Museum of
Natural History, New York.
The fossils - including a near complete skull - solve a
longstanding mystery surrounding bones and serrated teeth
discovered in Egypt at the beginning of the century but later
destroyed in the Second World War.
The teeth in the huge Carcharodontosaurus skull found by Dr
Sereno's team matched the description of the lost Egyptian teeth.
About 5ft 4in long, the skull rivals the largest known head of
Tyrannosaurus rex, which lived 65 to 70 million years ago in North
America. Dr Sereno estimates the animal's length at 45ft, making
it slightly bigger than T Rex.
He said: "It is a stockier, slower, heavier animal. This was a
bruising animal. With a wrestler-like neck It has a narrow,
slicing skull. While Tyrannosaurus chomped with round puncturing
teeth, Carcharodontosaurus easily cut off pieces of flesh. These
animals don't process the food. They bite, rip and swallow."
As well as attacking plant-eating dinosaurs, they also attacked
each other. Dr Sereno said: "We have evidence of a puncture
wound, just above the nose."
The brain cavity of the skull is well-preserved. It is only half
the volume of that known for T Rex, and only about one-fifteenth
the size of a human brain.
The second predator, discovered by Dr Gabrielle Lyon and recovered
by the team, has been named Deltadromeus agilis, or "agile delta
runner" for its extraordinary delicate, long limbs.
The reconstructed skeleton is longer than 25ft. This fine-boned
dinosaur attacked by chasing down its prey. Dr Sereno said:
"Deltadromeus is the pursuit-type dinosaur."
The remains of Carcharodontosaurus and Deltadromeus were found in
the Kem Kem region of Morocco's Sahara, once a vast flood plain
laced with rivers, edged by coniferous trees.
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