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A new terrifying dinosaur has been found in Argentina2 min read

April 1, 2021 2 min read

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A new terrifying dinosaur has been found in Argentina2 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Does this picture of this dinosaur not look entirely right?. Well, that’s because a new species of dinosaur just been discovered and even for a dinosaur, this creature was terrifying. The Llukalkan aliocranianus was so ferocious, that its name literally means ‘one who causes fear’ in the language of the local people that belong to where its fossilized skull was found.

Llukalken who?

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Llukalkan is a new genus of dinosaurs while aliocranianus is an entirely new species! The Llukalkan aliocranianus roamed around on the supercontinent of Gondwana about 80 million years ago during the late cretaceous period. That means that they were hanging around just before dinosaurs went extinct. That also means that they were possibly one of the best-evolved, and most modern, dinosaur species ever known! 

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Now, the surprisingly tiny, fossilised skull of a Llukalkan aliocranianus has been found in Argentina. Scientists have surmised that This terrorizing carnivore belonged to a family of big predators called Abelisauridae. They were giant lizards that looked quite similar to the infamous T-rex. They had only two legs and tiny arms and heads much like their fear generating relatives. However, they were different from the T-Rex as their bite was far more deadly and they were about mid-sized compared to those massive creatures.

Reconstruction of the complete skull and mandible of Llukalkan aliocranianus, from the Late Cretaceous of Neuquén Province, Argentina, in left lateral view. The preserved bones are located in their supposed natural positions, whereas non-preserved parts and bones are in gray. The prearticular bone has a medial location, laterally covered by the angular and surangular. The maxilla, jugal and quadrate correspond to the right side, although they were mirrored to accommodate with the image. Scale bar - 5 cm. Image credit: Gianechini et al., doi: 10.1080/02724634.2020.1877151.
The tiny skull of the Llukalkan aliocranianus. Image: Sci News

Size

Even then, The Llukalkan aliocranianus was so big that it was slightly larger than an adult African Elephant. The dinosaur grew to about 5 m (16.4 feet) in length and had an extremely powerful bite, very sharp teeth, huge claws, and a keen sense of smell.

It also had a strange short skull with rough bones that resembled modern lizards. It was full of bulges and strange craters of which one set was of greatest significance. 

Special Hearing

The most special feature of the Llukalkan aliocranianus was the set of hollows at the back of its skull. Scientists think that these hollows made it easier for the dinosaur to hear its prey and devour it. Spooky!

With Excerpts From: SciNews, and BBC

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