Parts of the fossilized skeleton of a large, meat-eating dinosaur with razor-like claws and sharp, jagged teeth, which once roamed the plains of South America and Australia millions of years ago, have been unearthed in Argentina, according to researchers.
The newly discovered Tratayenia rosalesi was part of the megaraptoran theropod family of dinosaurs and was a menacing apex predator that lived during the late Cretaceous period, about 85 million years ago, according to a study published in the journal Cretaceous Research earlier this month.
It grew to more than 30 feet long with powerful and well-muscled forelimbs tipped by gigantic talons, like meat-hooks, on the innermost two fingers of each hand.
Study co-leader Matt Lamanna with Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Natural History said in a statement released Thursday that the dinosaur used its claws to subdue its prey.
“Megaraptorid claws are the stuff of nightmares – razor-sharp meat hooks more than a foot long. Wolverine from the X-Men has nothing on these guys,” Lamanna said.
Scientists discovered the remains of the mysterious dinosaur in Argentina’s Patagonian region.
“Not many megaraptorid specimens are known, so we thought the new fossil would provide important information on these enigmatic predators,” said study co-author Domenica dos Santos of the Museum of Natural Sciences at the National University of Comahue in Argentina.
The new megaraptoid is also thought to be one of the youngest and most deadly dinosaurs that survived until the end of the Age of Dinosaurs.
"It was one of the last megaraptorids that lived on our planet and one of the largest in size for its time," lead study lead researcher Juan Porfiri, coordinator at the Museum of Natural Sciences at the National University of Comahue, told Live Science.
Scientists at the Carnegie Museum of Natural history said they still know very little about the new megaraptoid and that there is a lot to learn about this poorly understood dinosaur.
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