An artistic impression of Tralkasaurus: Tralkasaurus cuyi lived about 90 million years ago in what is now Patagonia, Argentina.
It belongs to Abelisauridae, a group of ceratosaurus theropod dinosaurs that flourished during the Cretaceous period in the supercontinent Gondwana.
The incomplete fossilized skeleton of Tralkasaurus cuyi, which includes a jaw and a vertebra, was discovered at the Violante farm’s fossil site in the province of Río Negro, in northern Patagonia.
“The materials found are diagnostic to describe this new species: the maxilla, which is part of the snout, was found in the skull and still retains some teeth,” said Dr. Cerroni, lead author of an article. published in the Journal of South American Earth Sciences.
“As for the rest of the skeleton, cervical ribs have been found, which protrude from the neck and are very long, so it is believed that these are tendons that have fossilized; In addition, part of the spine of the hip and tail was found. “
Tralkasaurus cuyi was approximately 4 m (13 feet) long, smaller than previously known abelisaurid dinosaur species.
“The size of Tralkasaurus cuyi contrasts with that of typical abelisaurids such as Abelisaurus and Carnotaurus (between 7 and 11 m, or 23-36 feet long), indicating that it would occupy a different ecological niche,” paleontologists said.
“Although its size is very small compared to Tyrannosaurus or Carnotaurus, the newly discovered dinosaur shares with them the characteristics of being a bipedal animal, with a short and muscular neck, with four claws on each of its hind legs, while its the arms were also very short in relation to his body and the bones of his limbs were light and hollow, ”said Dr. Cerroni.
“The snout of this new species has a lot of ornamentation, that is, an outer surface marked by roughness (a characteristic of the snout of these carnivores), which makes us assume that instead of having horns like Carnotaurus, it could have had corneal structures small or underdeveloped, “said a team member, Dr. Federico Agnolin, a researcher at the Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences, CONICET, and the University of Maimonides.