A team of archaeologists have discovered the fossilised remains of a 33-foot ‘megaraptor’ which was a “formidable” hunter when it roamed the Earth around 70 million years ago.
Specialists from the Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences discovered the remains of the megaraptor in the Patagonia region in the southern Argentine province of Santa Cruz.
The palaeontologists found the fossil remains of vertebrae, ribs and parts of the chest and scapular hip of the dinosaur which lived in the second half of the Cretaceous, mainly in the southern hemisphere.
The experts say the megaraptor would have measured 10 metres (33 feet) in length and was over 70 years old when it died.
Mauro Aranciaga Rolando, the palaeontologist who participated in the project, said: “We have found a very big specimen of a new megaraptor, which were formidable carnivorous dinosaurs and had a group of adaptations for hunting which were spectacular.”
He added: “They were different from the Tyrannosaurus Rex as they were slimmer animals, more prepared for running with long tails that allowed them to keep their balance. They also had muscular legs which were elongated and allowed them to take long strides.
“The megaraptors’ main weapons were their arms because they were extremely long and muscular. They also had sickle-shaped claws on their thumbs which had a sharpened edge and could reach 40 centimetres (16 inches) long.”
Dr Fernando Novas, the head of the Comparative Anatomy Laboratory at the Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences, the discovery of these fossils will help experts learn more about megaraptors and to see its kinship with other megaraptors found in other parts of the world.
Novas discovered the first specimen of megaraptor in the Argentine province of Neuquen in 1996 and other fossilised remains of the dinosaur have since been found in Asia and Australia.
Palaeontologist Sebastian Rozadilla, who works at the museum, said that megaraptors are believed to have hunted large herbivorous dinosaurs, the remains of which have been found in a herd in Chorrillo, also in Santa Cruz province.
The remains are in the Comparative Anatomy Laboratory where they are being analysed.
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