Jul 13, 2016

New Dinosaur Had Tiny T.rex Arms

Tiny forelimbs were apparently all the rage in the Late Cretaceous, as paleontologists have discovered a new dinosaur that had small Tyrannosaurus rex-like arms.

The new dino, named Gualicho shinyae, shared T. rex's meat-loving ways, according to the paper, published in the journal PLOS ONE. In future, research on it could solve mysteries about its tiny arms as well as those of T. rex and other dinosaurs sporting this look.

"By learning more about how reduced forelimbs evolved, we may be able to figure out why they evolved," co-author Peter Makovicky, who is The Field Museum's curator of dinosaurs, said in a press release.

The new dinosaur Gualicho showing the fossils that were found along with its other likely anatomy.
The research team consisted of an international group of researchers from The Field Museum, Universidad Maimónides in Argentina, the Dinosaur Institute at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and the Gobierno de la Provincia de Río Negro in Argentina.

Akiko Shinya, The Field Museum's chief fossil preparator, found the remains for the dinosaur during an expedition to the fossil-rich Huincul Formation of northern Patagonia. The species name shinyae honors Shinya, while the generic name Gualicho derives from Gualichu, a spirit revered by Patagonia's Tehuelche people.

Akiko Shinya, the Field Museum's chief fossil preparator for whom the new dinosaur is named, with Gualicho shinyae at the dig site.
The team joked about "the curse of Gualicho," since they had some bad luck. At one point, a truck even rolled over with scientists inside, but everyone was OK, save for some cuts and bruises.

The dino Gualicho lived about 100–66 million years ago and was an allosaurid, referring to a type of medium-to-large carnivorous two-legged dinosaurs. The researchers estimate that Gualicho weighed around 1,000 pounds, comparable to the heft of a modern polar bear.

Read more at Discovery News

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