Federico Brisson, member of the Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences unearth fossils of a megaraptor, at El Calafate, Santa Cruz, Argentina March 15, 2020. Picture taken March 15, 2020. Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales/Handout via Reuters
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Paleontologists from the Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences said on Monday they found the 70-million-year-old remains of a megaraptor, making it one of the last carnivorous dinosaurs to inhabit the earth.
The discovery was made in the southern province of Santa Cruz in the middle of March this year. After studying the fossils, measuring 10 meters (32 feet), experts realized they were looking at the remains of a predatory dinosaur from the end of the “age of dinosaurs.”
“This is the moment, 65 million years ago, when the extinction of the dinosaurs occurs, and this new megaraptor that we now have to study would be one of the last representatives of this group,” Fernando Novas, the paleontologist in charge of the project, told Reuters.
Unlike the Tyrannosaurus rex, the megaraptors were slimmer and built for speed, with long tails that allowed them to keep their balance. They had muscular but elongated legs to take long steps, according to the specialist.
“The defining characteristic of the megaraptors was that they had very long arms and that their thumb ended in a claw of approximately 40 centimeters (15 inches),” allowing them to catch their prey, he said.
Reporting by Miguel Lobianco; Writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Aurora Ellis