The discovery of predatory dinosaurs solved the mystery of the food chain

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Spinosaurs, tyrannosaurs… Many carnivorous and fearsome dinosaurs lived in the heart of the Jurassic and Cretaceous landscapes. Extinct predatory dinosaurs have recently been discovered. A discovery that solves a mystery in the food chain.

Two new species

In 2019, paleontologists Jared Voris and Kohei Tanaka visited the Royal Tyrrell Museum, Canada, and the State Geological Museum, Uzbekistan, respectively. After studying two fossil specimens for several months, they found they were two species of carnivorous dinosaurs previously unknown to science.

These two new species of large Cretaceous predators were named Carcharodontosaurus of Uzbekistan (Ulughbegsaurus uzbekistanensisafter Ulugh Beg, historical figure and first astronomer in Uzbekistan) and Tyrannosaurus of Canada (Thanatotheristes degrootorumor Reaper of Death, a name inspired by its role as a predator in the 80-million-year-old ecosystem).

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predators

Both species have been identified from just a few bones. The most famous come from their pines. This shows that both species had a similar average size. “From these preserved bones we were able to determine their height. From the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail, both species would have been about twenty feet long, the length of an average school bus.the researchers explained.

Specialists have also discovered that these dinosaurs were the largest predators in their ecosystems. “Most other known predatory species in these ecosystems have been small, typically less than three meters long. The ancient ecosystem of Uzbekistan was also home to a small tyrannosaur species, dwarfed by the large Ulughbegsaurus.” they added.

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The disappearance of large predators

All species of carcharodontosaurs became extinct about 90 million years ago. Their extinction left a gap in North American and Asian ecosystems for other top predators to evolve. Tyrannosaurs finally managed to evolve.

Also, tyrannosaurs evolved and grew 80 to 90 million years ago. The Canadian tyrannosaur was one of the earliest species of these large tyrannosaurs. “Thanatotheristes and its relatives were among the ancestors that gave rise to even larger tyrannosaur species, like the forty-foot-long Tyrannosaurus rex. These large species dominated the Cretaceous ecosystems of North America and Asia for the last ten million years before the mass extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs.” concluded the researchers.

To dig deeper, check out 20 Amazing And Fascinating Facts About Dinosaurs.

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