Discovery of a new super predator, the predecessor of the tyrannosaurs?

In the Cretaceous, the species of the Carcharodontosauria group (belonging to the allosaurids) had a worldwide distribution. A new super predator of this group reigned in Asiamerica long before the tyrannosaurids.

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A very recent study published in the journal Royal Society Open Science presents a Man … “data-image =” “data-url =” https: / / “data-more =” Read more “>maxillary of a new kind of prisonodontosaure named Ulughbegsaurus uzbekistanensis. This name was given to it in honor ofUlugh Beg, Turkish-Mongolian prince, but also astronomer and mathematician who ruled over a vast territory, stretching from present-day Uzbekistan, Armenia, Georgia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran. This fossil is the first evidence of the presence of this group of dinosaurs in central asia (and more precisely in Uzbekistan, in the Bissekty formation) during the Cretaceous climate
In the Cretaceous, the planetary climate was particularly hot, which allowed the massive development of plankton (banks of … “data-image =” b / d / 3bd80cc75f_21204_7637-carte-cretace-mrugala-com.jpg “data-url =” “data-more =” Read more “>Cretaceous superior.

A predator larger than an African elephant, gone unnoticed

By comparing the size of this jawbone with that of other allosaurids, the authors were able to estimate the weight of U. uzbekistanensis to over a ton and its size between 7.5 and 8 meters.

According to Associate Professor Kohei Tanaka, lead author of the study, U. uzbekistanensis was therefore larger than an adult African elephant. This discovery makes it possible to complete the diagram of the trophic network at this time at the level of the ecosystem of Bissekty whose U. uzbekistanensis was definitely the top predator.

Ulughbegsaurus uzbekistanensis coexisted with smaller tyrannosauroids.  © Julius T. Csotonyi, University of Tsukuba

The weight of some carcharodontosaur species may have exceeded six tons, which makes them compete with the largest tyrannosaurids and spinosauridés. They nevertheless disappeared at the end of the Turonian (-93.9 to -89.8 million years ago), paving the way for the reign of tyrannosaurids. However, the all too rare fossils today cannot say whether the carcharodontosaurs bowed to the tyrannosaurids or whether their disappearance is due to other factors.

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