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Unearthing of 16-Foot Dinosaur That Lived 70 Million Years Ago

Marion Charatan

Posted on October 3, 2021 10:29

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The new species is fascinating paleontologists who just discovered the creature in Monte Alto, near Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Paleontologists in Sao Paolo, Brazil recently dug up fossils from a new dinosaur species. Its short arms have researchers wondering if they served any purpose for the animal. The creature had powerful legs.

Estimates are that the predator roamed the Earth 70 million years ago and now. The initial discovery of the creature came when bones were excavated in 2002. A partial pelvic girdle and three vertebrae positioned near its tail were unearthed in the latest Brazilian dig.

The new dinosaur is called 'Kurupi itaata,' after the area Monte Alto, where the bones were dug up. Researchers theorize the carnivore measured about 16 feet long. An article in The Journal of South American Earth Sciences said the creature is an abelisaurid, a category of two-legged (bipedal) predators that were common to the ancient supercontinent Gondwana. The huge land parcel broke up over 150 million years ago into what is now Antarctica, Africa, South America, Madagascar, Australia-New Guinea, and New Zealand.

Large dinosaurs were undoubtedly imposing to other creatures who lived in the Jurrasic era, also known as the 'Age of the Dinosaur.' Mammals like us did not exist back then. Indeed, Steven Spielberg took poetic license in his remarkable film Jurrasic Park, based on Michael Crichton's novel, when dinosaurs were cloned and came back to life-- chasing humans.

A small number of mammals, no larger than rats, existed alongside dinosaurs before they became extinct. Dinosaurs also shared the Earth with bird-like creatures, reptiles, and plant life.

On the surface, dinosaurs look more like reptiles than any other species. However, they have the characteristics of mammals, reptiles, and birds alike.  If they were alive today, dinosaurs would be categorized as reptiles

Herpetologists study amphibians and reptiles, which include a subspecies Archosaurs.  Crocodiles fall into this category, as would dinosaurs if they were still around. But the difference between crocodiles and lizards from dinosaurs is that their legs extend from both sides of their bodies, whereas the legs of dinosaurs come from underneath. However, the pelvic structures of dinosaurs were similar to those of crocodiles and lizards. Another commonality is that dinosaurs laid eggs, as other reptiles and birds do. 

As imposing as the 16-foot Kurupi itaata must have been, a larger reptile is alive and well right now. The Saltwater crocodile is a distant cousin of the Kurupi itaata. The croc lives in northern Australia, India's eastern coast, and Southeast Asia. It is 18-feet long and weighs 1000kg; over 2,204 pounds--and is thought to be the largest reptile presently in the world.

The newest dinosaur discovery, as incredible as it is, pales when compared with the largest dinosaur ever found, the Argentinorsaurus, estimated at 95-feet long and 110 tons. It would not surprise me if an even larger fossil was discovered in the future. 

For dinosaur aficionados like me, a replica of Kurupi itaata will soon be on exhibit to view at the Monte Alto's Museum of Paleontology.

 

 

Marion Charatan

Posted on October 3, 2021 10:29

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Source: WLWT

An amazing discovery in the world's the longest-known cave system.

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