Argentina Scientists Discover Carnivorous Dinosaur with Puny Arms and Powerful Head

Part of a skull base of a dinosaur in Buenos Aires in 2019. The fossil skull of the Cretaceous period dinosaur, named Guemesia ochoai, was discovered in Argentina’s north-western Salta province Photograph: National Scientific And Technical Research Council/Reuters

Scientists in Argentina have unearthed the remains of a previously unknown species of meat-eating dinosaur that lived about 70m years ago that had puny arms and may have used its powerful head to ram its prey.

The fossil skull of the Cretaceous period dinosaur, named Guemesia ochoai, was discovered in Argentina’s north-western Salta province. The researchers said it likely belongs to a carnivorous group of dinosaurs called abelisaurs, which walked on two legs and possessed only stub-like arms, even shorter than those of North America’s Tyrannosaurus rex.

The short arms may have forced Guemesia to rely on its powerful skull and jaws, the researchers said.

“It’s so unique and so different from other carnivorous dinosaurs, which allows us to understand that we’re dealing with a totally new species,” Federico Agnolin, lead author of a study on the dinosaur published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology and a researcher with Argentine national science council Coincet, told Reuters.

The animal, possibly a juvenile, lived just a few million years before an asteroid impact at what is now Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula wiped out about three-quarters of Earth’s species including the dinosaurs about 66m years ago.

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SOURCE: The Guardian, Reuters