New tiny-armed dinosaur discovered

2012-05-25 11:10

Buenos Aires - Argentine experts have discovered the near-complete remains of a new species of Jurassic-era dinosaur that stood on its rear legs and had tiny arms, a leading palaeontologist said.

The find belongs to the Abelisaurus family, "the most common carnivorous species in the southern hemisphere during the Cretaceous Period", some 70 to 100 million years ago, said palaeontologist Diego Pol.

"However the fossils that we found are some 170 million years old," from the earlier Jurassic Period, Pol said.

The creature looks a bit like a scaled-down Tyrannosaurus rex, but with even smaller arms.

The new species, baptised Eoabelisaurus mefi, predates the oldest known member of the Abelisauri lineage by more than 40 million years.

Geographic barrier

Unlike its descendants, this 6m long creature "has completely reduced arms and tiny claws, which implies that it used only its very sharp teeth to feed itself," Pol said.

Abelisauri remains have been found only in the southern hemisphere.

Experts believe a great desert in the Earth's single land mass at the time, Pangea, could have acted as a geographic barrier, preventing the species from spreading north.

The fossils were discovered on Condor Hill, in the southern Patagonian province of Chubut, some 1 800km southwest of Buenos Aires.

A 25-member team from the Edigio Feruglio Museum of Paleontology in Chubut discovered the creature's cranium and vertebrae during a dig in 2009.

The team was forced to abandon the expedition when winter approached, and returned the next year during the summer, when "we found the animal's whole articulated skeleton", Pol said.

Details of the find appear in an article in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London.

Argentina earned fame as a prime site for dinosaur fossil hunters with several discoveries in the 1980s, including the Argentinosaurus Huinculensis, a giant herbivore more than 40m long that lived 98 million years ago.

In 1993, scientists in Argentina found the remains of the Giganotosaurus Carolinii, a T-Rex type creature that is the largest carnivorous dinosaur ever found.

  • mbossenger - 2012-05-25 11:20

    Question for creationists - did god put the fossils in the ground to test our faith or did the devil put them there to fool us?

      doug.gass1 - 2012-05-25 11:23

      Neither, this is clearly a plot by the media to distract us from real issues like silly paintings of the presidents winky.

      Shaun - 2012-05-25 12:16

      Neither, Dinosaurs were always around with man... Great flood killed n petrified them.... No need for millions of years.... Besides, There are still some dinosaurs alive today... (sitings) Many dinosaurs are extinct, but so many reports of monsters or "dragons"??? Man has seen dinosaurs, they are not a product of billions of years man... There is also historical evidence... Sorry cousin, but too much historical eye witness accounts of Knights fighting and killing "dragons".... Infact the word dinosaur was created in the year 1842 by Richard Owen, before the word which means terrible lizard, they were called dragons, which the bible constantly refers to infact >1> eateth grass as an ox (Job.40:15) >2> strength in his loins (Job.40:16a) >3> force in the navel of his belly (Job.40:16b) >4> moveth his tail like a cedar (Job.40:17a) >5> sinews of his -STONES- are wrapped together (Job.40:17b) > (uh oh, so much for the hippo, crocodile and brontosaurus! grin :) >6> strong bones, like brass/iron (Job.40:18) >7> not easy to approach unto (Job.40:19) >8> likes mountainous, shady, willowy areas. (Job.40:20-22) >9> drinks a lot of water (Job.40:23) >10> piercing (pointed?) nose (Job.40:24) Stegosaurus bro... LOL

      zaatheist - 2012-05-25 12:16

      How can you say such things? It is obvious that this poor little creature fell off the Ark in a storm or Giraffe pushed him.

      Shaun - 2012-05-25 12:16

      Some people say, oh it was an elephant or a hippo.... Do a image search on google, neither elephant or hippo have a tail like a cedar....

      Fredster - 2012-05-25 12:36

      I am with you on this one Shaun

      Surfing - 2012-05-25 13:07

      mbossenger -- Scientists are lying to you because they can't proof that there is no God, hence a botched date test system which can't really calculate how old things are.

      antin.herinck - 2012-05-25 13:18

      @ shaun, of course you are right. And not only do they still exist, new ones are coming regularly -like this one, with the tiny arms.

      zane.zeiler - 2012-05-25 13:48

      @Shaun, good lord man! Two words that will utterly and completely F up your theory; Rock Layers... It's Geology and Paleontology 101, jesus! Read a book or something!

      Antin - 2012-05-25 16:06

      Sorry, but am I one of the few who think Shaun is using a dollop of irony here?

  • raath - 2012-05-25 13:02

    Who says this just isn't a baby T-rex? Why do they only find adult fossils? Didn't T-Rex's have babies?

      antin.herinck - 2012-05-25 13:22

      Raath, The babies were usually eaten by the Neanderthalers. Of course the parents ate most of the Neanderthalers -which explains why both species are extinct.

      Antin - 2012-05-25 16:19

      BTW, this just my own, personal theory. I did much digging in my vegetable patch and my collection of bones has taught me a lot. I hope soon to see my books "Paleontology for Primary School" and "Radiocarbon Dating For The Workshop" published.

  • antin.herinck - 2012-05-25 13:13

    You have to be careful how you read this headline. In the first instance I had visions of small dino's with 38 specials roaming through prehistoric landscapes.

  • eyesears.handsfeet - 2012-05-25 14:21

    I am not a big fan of science (as it can be manipulated) and I also do not believe in the Darwin theory. I do believe that there was life before man-kind on this planet which we call earth. Earth's evolution has taken place so many times already. Many discoveries made in Egypt alone, cannot be copied. I also believe that earth as just another planet, is a vessel for currently the humankind, but will be made a vessel for something else in the future, taken that the human race exits for only how many years? So it is not so unusual that bones of different discoveries are found.

      Antin - 2012-05-25 16:24

      Good you warn us about not being into science. I would never have guessed otherwise.

  • Gaby - 2012-05-25 15:41

    To those of you who continue unabatedly with the anti evolution/religion argument PLEASE stick to the My News articles? Enough already!

  • pages:
  • 1