In the Cretaceous, the species of the Carcharodontosauria group (belonging to the allosaurids) had a worldwide distribution. A new super predator of this group reigned in Asiamerica long before the tyrannosaurids.
A very recent study published in the journalpresents a of a new kind of named Ulughbegsaurus uzbekistanensis. This name was given to it in honor of , Turkish-Mongolian prince, but also and mathematician who ruled over an immense territory, stretching from present-day Uzbekistan, Armenia, Georgia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran. This fossil is the first evidence of the presence of this group of (and more precisely in Uzbekistan, in the formation of Bissekty) during the superior.
A predator larger than an African elephant, gone unnoticed
By comparing the size of this jawbone with that of other allosaurids, the authors were able to estimate the weight of U. uzbekistanensis to over a ton and its size between 7.5 and 8 meters.
According to Associate Professor Kohei Tanaka, lead author of the study, U. uzbekistanensis was therefore larger than an adult African elephant. This discovery makes it possible to complete the diagram of the trophic network at that time at the level of the ecosystem of Bissekty whose U. uzbekistanensis was definitely the top predator.
The weight of some carcharodontosaur species may have exceeded six tons, which makes them compete withand . They nevertheless disappeared at the end of the Turonian (-93.9 to -89.8 million years ago), paving the way for the . However, the all too rare fossils today cannot say whether the carcharodontosaurs bowed to the tyrannosaurids or whether their disappearance is due to other factors.