if they Velociraptors were already giving cold sweats to the spectators of the saga Jurassic Parkthe films are far from showing which were the most impressive « raptors » having walked the earth. A study reports the discovery of a new species in Argentina, whose size rivaled that of allosaurs.
You will also be interested
[EN VIDÉO] Interview: where to find dinosaur fossils?Disappeared 65 million years ago, the dinosaurs nevertheless left some traces in fossil form. But what are the most favorable geological conditions for their conservation and where can they be found? Futura-Sciences asked the question to Éric Buffetaut, paleontologist, during this interview.
The theropods are one of the groups of dinosaurs the best known to the general public because they include the largest species of carnivores that have ever walked the Earth, including the emblematic Tyrannosaurus rex, Spinosaurus as well as species of the genus Allosaurus. Several theropods were made famous thanks to the films of the saga Jurassic Park et Jurassic World. In the next film of this saga titled Jurassic World: The World Afterit’s the turn of Giganotosaurusa theropod belonging to the group of carcharodontosaurids, to cause panic among humans.
This giant predator lived in South America and its disappearance along with that of other carcharodontosaurids may have allowed other groups of theropods to flourish. Among these groups is that of the megaraptora, within which a new species giantess of « raptor » has just been described.
The shadow of death “
A research team publishes in the newspaper Scientific Reports information about this new species named Maip macrothorax. This species belongs to the group of megaraptora, which is part of that of allosauroids. The specimen was discovered in the province of Santa Cruz, Argentina, and dates from the Maastrichtian (-72.1 to -66 million years). The term macrothorax reminds that this « raptor » had a big chest cavity which was just over 1.20 meters wide. The paleontologists found only a few fossils of this specimen such as vertebrae, ribs and part of the pectoral belt, but they were able to estimate that the individual was about nine and a half meters long and nearly three meters high.
The authors of the study were also interested in the phylogeny of Megaraptors. They determined that M. macrothorax was phylogenetically close to other South American megaraptora which are more recent than those from Australia and Asia. The latter were also smaller and of less robust constitution than the subgroup of which the impressive M. macrothorax. The latter must therefore have been among the greatest predators of its time in South America. The genus name Skip is also the name of an evil entity from the mythology of the Tehuelches (Indians of Patagonia) which means « the shadow of death ».