Newly Discovered Dinosaur Had Tiny Arms Like T. Rex

Posted: Jul 14 2016, 1:29am CDT | by , Updated: Jul 14 2016, 7:28pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

Newly Discovered Dinosaur had Tiny Arms Like T. Rex
Credit: Copyright Jorge González and Pablo Lara

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Scientists have discovered a new meat-eating dinosaur species in Argentina. The dinosaur possessed a pitifully tiny pair of arms and those arms might have evolved independently.

Tyrannosaurus rex was not the only dinosaur with absurdly tiny arms.

Scientists working in a far-off place in Argentina have uncovered a new species of dinosaur with a similar feature. The newly discovered dinosaur not only has small arms and hands but also has two-fingered claws like T. Rex.

The most surprising thing is both dinosaurs do not share the same ancestry. They were not close relatives, meaning their arms must have evolved on their own and not descended from a single, common ancestor.

Researchers are calling the new species of dinosaur Gualicho shinyae. Gualicho was an evil spirit feared by ancient people living in the region.

"Gualicho is kind of a mosaic dinosaur, it has features that you normally see in different kinds of theropods," said coauthor Peter Makovicky, curator of dinosaurs at Field Museum in Chicago. “It's really unusual—it's different from the other carnivorous dinosaurs found in the same rock formation, and it doesn't fit neatly into any category."

Discovered in northern Patagonia, the Gualicho fossil is up to 26 feet tall and had forelimbs of only about 2 feet. The dinosaur roamed the Earth 90 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period, making them more ancient than T. Rex Dinosaurs that existed around 67 million years ago. Like T. rex, they were also meat-eating dinosaurs who could stand upright on two legs.

“It’s not a giant animal by dinosaur standards, but not small either, so it’s a midsize predator.” Makovicky told Live Scinece.

Though fossil remains consist of just a few parts such as forelimbs, hind limbs, section of back and tail but they are enough to tell about the group to which it belongs. Gualicho was an allosaurid - a branch comprising of medium-to-large carnivorous theropods.

However, researchers are unable to explain why Gualicho and other related dinosaurs have had reduced forelimbs.

“We’re slowly getting more information on this sort of pattern of limb reduction and getting at this question of why tyrannosaurs and some other theropods shortened their forelimbs.” Makovicky said.

Researchers believe if they could learn more about how their forelimbs were shortened, they will likely able to figure out why such forelimbs evolved.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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