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The name of the new dinosaur found in Argentina means “person who caused fear”



Paleontologists discovered a new dinosaur species in Argentina, calling it “Llukalkan aliocranianus”. Llukalkan means “a person who causes fear” in Mapuche, and “aliocranianus” means “abnormal skull” in Latin.

The remains of the dinosaur were found in a rocky Bajo de la Carpa formation that straddles Rio Negro and Neuquen provinces in Argentina. The Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology released detailed information about its unearths on Wednesday.

This creature existed about 80 million years ago and belongs to the abelisaurids family. It is a group of carnivorous congenital predators. It was most prominent during the Cretaceous period. It was similar to the famous Tyrannosaurus rex, with small arms and large hind legs.

However, the skulls of these dinosaurs are unusual, with crests, horns and other protrusions. The bump on the head of Llukalkan aliocranianus may be similar to that of an iguana or a Gila monster.

Reconstruction of the skull of Llukalkan aliocranianus.


. Gianechini and others. al/Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology

Reconstruction of the skull of Llukalkan aliocranianus.

Analysis of dinosaur fossil bones also showed that it may have better hearing than most shellfish dinosaurs.

“The unique thing about this dinosaur is that it has a cavity in the ear area that other Betuxidae don’t have, which may give the species different hearing capabilities, and the hearing range may be larger,” a paleontologist at Saint State University One of the lead authors of this study by Federico Gianecini, Luis of Argentina, told CNN. “This, coupled with its keen sense of smell, could have been a powerful tool for preying on this species.”

Artist's impression of Llukalkan aliocranianus.


Jorge Blanco and the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology

Artist’s impression of Llukalkan aliocranianus.

The remains of this creature are only 700 meters away from another weevil named Viavenator exxoni discovered in 2016. Research on the fossils of Subject A shows that they were still prospering before the extinction of the dinosaurs.

The co-author of the study, Dr. Ariel Méndez of the Patagonian Institute of Geology and Paleontology, said in a press release: “These dinosaurs are still trying new evolutionary pathways and are rapidly diversifying before they are completely extinct.”


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