Thursday, July 14, 2011

In Argentina Pint-sized ancestor of Tyrannosaurus rex was discovered

The ancestor of Tyrannosaurus rex, who lived when dinosaurs were the underdogs 230 million years ago, has been discovered by scientists in Argentina.

Eodromaeus was four feet long from nose to tail-tip and weighed just 10 to 15 pounds.

Nonetheless the two-legged dinosaur predated the biggest and most fierce land predators that ever lived, including T. rex.

Fossil bones of two of the creatures were unearthing side-by-side at a desert site known as the Valley of the Moon in northern Argentina.

Researchers pieced together a near-complete skeleton of the new species which they illustrate today in the journal Science.

Study leader Dr Paul Sereno, from the University of Chicago, US, described: "It really is the earliest
look we have at the long line of meat eaters that would eventually culminate in Tyrannosaurus rex near the end of the dinosaur era.”

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