Researchers have discovered a new species of dinosaur that was even larger and more fearsome than Tyrannosaurus Rex.
The Calgary Herald reports that University of Calgary scientists have identified a massive new species of dinosaur that they have called Ulughbegasaurus - which fearsomely terrorised the earth as an apex predator 90 million years ago.
Researchers were able to identify the new species - which was five times bigger than the fearsome T-Rex (yes, five times!) - through the dinosaur's fossilized jaw.
The fossilized jawbone that lead to the discovery was found by a Russian paleontologist in the 1980s in what was then known as the Soviet Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan. Since its discovery, the jawbone fossil had sat in the Vernadsky State Geological Museum, Moscow, for years. That was until it was transported to Calgary for further examination, reports Newsweek.
Researchers Dr. Kohei Tanaka and Darla Zelenitsky, a University of Calgary associate professor of paleontology lead the investigation. After Tanaka initially identified fossils from Ulughbegasaurus in 2019, the two scientists searched for another piece of the predator and found it in the previously unearthed jaw. After using 3-D modeling to link fossilized teeth to the jaw, they were able to identify the new species. Makes you wonder how many other remains are sitting in museum drawers waiting to be properly analysed...
Zelenitsky said that Ulughbegasaurus was so large that they "probably kept the tyrannosaurus down" and "were obviously better apex predators."
Zelenitsky added, "The disappearance of (Ulughbegasaurus) likely allowed tyrannosaur species to become the apex predators of Asia and North America some 80 to 90 million years ago, who persisted in large forms like Albertosaurus, Gorgosaurus, and T-Rex."
The scientist said that she was "surprised" they had only just identified "such a large predator" now, calling the discovery "very exciting."