Archaeologists announced Thursday that they have discovered the remains of a new giant dinosaur in Argentina, notable for its enormous head and tiny arms. Baptized Merax is gigas The carnivore – named after the dragon in the Game of Thrones series – was discovered during a four-year excavation in northern Argentina’s Patagonia. The skull was first discovered in 2012. “We won the lottery and found it the first morning” The excavations were explained to AFP Peter Makovicky of the University of Minnesota, USA.
The skull is more than 1.20 meters, the animal is more than ten meters and weighs about four tons. But his upper limbs are not more than 60 cm “Half of the skull” And the animal could not use them “to reach his mouth”, says the analyst. A team of scientists published their findings in the journal Science Current Biology, believed that the small size of the weapons gave the animal a distinct advantage in survival. According to Peter Magovici, as the head grew in size, it became the dominant tool in their predatory arsenal, taking over the function of the upper limbs in smaller creatures.
Juan Canale, study co-author and project manager at the Ernesto Bachmann Museum in Neuquen, southern Argentina, goes even further. “I am convinced that these proportionally reduced arms had a function. The skeleton shows large muscle inserts and fully developed forelimbs, so the arms had strong muscles.”He explained in a press release. “They may use their hands for their reproductive behavior, such as holding the female during mating or supporting each other to get up after a break or fall.”.
Meraxes lived on Earth 90 to 100 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period, when the region was wetter, more forested and much closer to the sea, Peter Makovicky points out. They can live up to forty years, the age of dinosaurs. They presumably preyed on contemporaneous sauropods, whose remains have been found at the excavation site. Its skull has ridges, furrows, bumps and small horns, Merax “Sure looked, he looked like a gargoyle”Macovici explains. “These are traits that are often the subject of sexual selection in living animals.”The researcher emphasizes, noting that these species use their massive skulls as a “billboard” to be noticed by potential mates.
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