Friday, 5 May 2017

African T. rex was one of last dinosaurs alive before extinction

4 May 2017

By New Scientist staff and Press Association

One of the last dinosaurs living in Africa before their extinction 66 million years ago has been discovered in a phosphate mine in northern Morocco.

The scientist who made the discovery likened it to winning the lottery as the new species – Chenanisaurus barbaricus – is so rare.

The dinosaur is a smaller African contemporary of the North American T. rex.

Last year, Nick Longrich, from the University of Bath, studied a rare fragment of a jaw bone that was discovered in the mines at Sidi Chennane in the Oulad Abdoun Basin, Morocco.

In collaboration with colleagues based in Morocco, France, and Spain, Longrich identified it as belonging to an abelisaur.

Abelisaurs were two-legged predators like T. rex and other tyrannosaurs, but with a shorter, blunter snout and even tinier arms.

While the tyrannosaurs dominated in North America and Asia, the abelisaurs were the top predators at the end of the Cretaceous period in Africa, South America, India and Europe.



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