They found a tooth without knowing what would happen next: “It was something they had never seen before”

“There is no two without three,” says the old saying confirmed by the news from Tacuarimbo. The strikingly serrated teeth correspond to a New carnivorous dinosaur For Uruguay, which belongs to the family Aplesurides. And not only this. Its history goes back 150 million years, It is one of the four types of applisaur found in the world that correspond to the Jurassic periodalthough these animals were typical of the Cretaceous period.

On this occasion, the Paleontologist Matthias Soto It cannot come with a scientific name because it does not have a complete tooth. “It’s a little more than half a tooth,” he said, “but it’s well preserved.” But its characteristics distinguish it from the rest of the teeth found in the other two carnivorous species identified in Tacuarembo: turvosaurus and the ceratosaurus.

Abelisoided tooth was found in Tacuarimbo (Photo: Im Soto)

Smaller than these two giants, aplesaurs are still revered with a head, although medium short but rather high, which had a mouth with teeth resembling “hooks to tear flesh”. Specifically, the family was identified by its sawn edge.

The part on the back has long teeth that bend upwards in the form of a hook; While the one in the front reaches down and has shorter, asymmetrical teeth. Unlike the teeth of Torvosaurus and Ceratosaurus, The abelisaurid tooth enamel does not have a specific direction (Others had some “microscopic bumps”).

“As soon as we found it, it caught our attention due to the presence of teeth of a different shape. We immediately send it to an electron microscope and wash it with gold. We confirmed it was something we had never seen before” Country.

He added, “Every time we see more diversity in Tacuarimbo, which is It would be an interesting mix of the most common carnivores of the Jurassic period from the northern continents (Torvosaurus and Ceratosaurus) and the most common carnivores of the Cretaceous period from the southern continents.”

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The new dinosaur, whose discoveries were published in a specialist journal this month in collaboration with Brazilian Rafael Delcourt and Max Langer and Uruguayan Daniel Berea, was officially presented to the community at X Uruguayan Geology Conference.

Illustration of Torvosaurus
Illustration of TorvosaurusCountry

The Abelísoride family owes its name to Argentine professor Roberto Abel. These carnivores were widely distributed on the continent of Gondwana, an ancient mass in the Southern Hemisphere – later divided into South America, Africa, India, Madagascar, Antarctica and Australia – which explains why there are almost no examples in the north.

This is the first record in Uruguay And one of the few Jurassic records of the collection worldwide, as it was typical of the Cretaceous period. “There are some bones in Tanzania that are questionable, some teeth in Madagascar, some bones in Argentina and ours,” said Soto, who specializes in the teeth of carnivorous dinosaurs.

In terms of size, it is not possible to estimate the size of this particular animal from just one tooth, but it can be said that aplesaurs were much younger than the tooth. turvosaurus (the largest land predator of any kind and the largest carnivorous animal in the entire territory of Uruguay) and ceratosaurus, countrymen in these parts. Most of them were of medium size, between five and six metres. The paleontologist compared it, saying, “If one of the other cars was tall, the abellysoride would be one.”

One of its representative physical properties The short arms actually found in the oldest specimen found in Argentina. It can be speculated that he also had a horn on his head as seen later in abelisaurids such as Carnotaurus (two horns above the eyes) or Majungasaurus From Madagascar (only a century on the front).

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The dinosaur drawing accompanying this note belongs to A ghost (Its name is taken from a movie because it means “ghost hunter”), the earliest aplesaurid animal from Brazil in time: about 120 million years. One of the Tacuarembo inhabited the area 150 million years ago. The difference between one and the other is that the Brazilian does not have a short and high head.

Spectrovenator, the closest abelisaurid from Brazil in time
Spectrovenator, the closest abelisaurid from Brazil in timeCountry

The list of carnivorous dinosaurs in Uruguay does not end with the three mentioned. Soto is preparing to publish a room from which teeth were also found in Tacuarimbo.

They all lived to the end Jurassic, when the landscape was covered with sand dunes and some plants and rivers were home to sharks, coelacanths, Ghanaian fish, turtles and crocodiles; As the pterodactyl flew across the sky.

country (Uruguay)

Lovell Loxley

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