[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
Re: Mystery theropod from Argentina
Does anybody have any pictures/visual references?
On Tuesday, June 15, 2004, at 05:47 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
From: Ben Creisler email@example.com
In case this news item has not been reported here:
Dinosaur fossil baffles Canadian scientists
CALGARY — The discovery of a mysterious fossil on a South
American cliff offers the tantalizing possibility of a
whole other species of meat-eating dinosaurs, says one of
the world's foremost experts.
"We thought it was related to the tyrannosaurus just
because there were a lot of features in the vertebrae as
we were taking it out," said paleontologist Philip Currie,
who was involved in the dig, from the Royal Tyrrell Museum
in Drumheller, Alta.
"But when we compared it to the specimens in Alberta -- we
compared it to the giganotosaurus the carnotaurus and
their relatives -- it doesn't add up."
There are two main types of meat-eating dinosaurs in South
America. Both were two-legged carnivores that lived about
80 million years ago.
But characteristics from the latest fossil don't quite
match up, although at eight metres in length and weighing
about a tonne, it would have appeared quite similar, said
"When you look at a shark verses a dolphin, they look
quite similar in terms of body form, but of course they're
not related at all," Currie said. "One's a fish and one's
The fossil includes much of the skull and about 30 teeth,
part of the vertebral column, hip and leg bones. One of
the most interesting aspects is the brain case which is
being studied at the Tyrrell.
"This is the part that envelops the brain and you first of
all can see how big the brain was and you can actually see
the various components of the brain preserved as
impressions in the bones," he said.
It was Currie and Rodolfo Coria, director of the Carmen
Funes Museum in Neuquen, Argentina, who removed the fossil
in 2001 from the northern Patagonia region of Argentina.
The data from the discovery is being fed into a computer
to see if it matches any other dinosaur finds, said Coria.
"We are dealing with two possible hypotheses. One is it's
a new kind of dinosaur, a large size of meat-eating
dinosaur that was not recorded before," Coria said. "Or
it's a very specialized version of the other two ones that
we already know.
"Whatever it is, this is very exciting because we are
learning a lot of things we didn't know about dinosaur
evolution in Patagonia from this guy."
The similarities between the Argentinian fossil and that
of fossils of Albertosaurus, a type of tyrannosaur found
in southern Alberta's Badlands, raise questions of how
dinosaurs living in isolation from each other developed
remarkably similar characteristics.
"What we're thinking now is these animals developed
independently but they were responding to the environment
the same way," said Currie. "It's possible that because
they both were quite large, they had a similar response
and ended up looking quite similar without actually being
There were also similarities to the climate and landscape
in northern Patagonia and the Alberta of 80 million years
ago, Coria pointed out.
"The weather was very arid. It wasn't a jungle or a place
with a lot of wet and heat. It was very similar to
Alberta . . . with a lot of streams and rivers and room
enough for all these gigantic forms of dinosaurs."