One of the last dinosaurs in Africa was the 69 million year old D. Rex relatives were found

Two new dinosaur species have been described by scientists in Morocco, dating back to the period before an asteroid wiped out 90 percent of life on Earth 66 million years ago. They are the oldest relatives of the famous Dinosaur rex, only with a bulldog nose and small hands. Bless.

At the end of the Cretaceous, they were recovered from the upper Maastrichtian of Morocco, North Africa, outside Casablanca. Both belong together AbelisauriidaeA family of carnivorous dinosaurs that walked on webbed feet and had small forearms, perhaps the most famous example is the abelisaurid, Carnotaurus’ absurdly spindly arms.

The new species was identified from the leg bone of a predator, about 2.5 meters (8 feet) tall, found near the town of Sidi Daui. A second specimen – the jawbone of a carnivore that stretched up to 5 meters (15 feet) in length – was found near Sidi Sennane.

The most surprising thing about the discoveries is that they were made on what used to be an ocean bed.

„It was a shallow, tropical sea full of plesiosaurs, mosasaurs and sharks,” said study leader Dr Nick Longrich from the Milner Center for Evolution at the University of Bath. Report. „It’s not a place where you’d expect a lot of dinosaurs. But we’re finding them.

Only a few dinosaur fossils have been recovered from the ancient seabed, but among them researchers have discovered remarkably different species. So far they account for five different species, including duckbilled dinosaurs and long-necked titanosaurs.

Now, two new Abelizars join their much larger cousin. Chenanisaurus SavageIn life it is a ferocious predator, much smaller than that D. Rex. Diversity has been argued to have died out before a cataclysmic asteroid strike 66 million years ago, but the discovery of several species shows that things were different than expected during the last days of the dinosaurs – in Morocco, at least. .

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And the best bit? There is more to come.

„We have other fossils as well, but they are currently under study,” Longrich continued. „So we can’t say much about them at this point, other than that it was an amazing dinosaur fauna.”

The study is published in the journal Cretaceous Research.

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