(ORDO NEWS) — In Egypt, paleontologists have found the vertebra of a predatory dinosaur from the abelisaurid family, which is characterized by a small snout and small forelimbs. This is only the second unequivocal find of fossils of this family in Egypt.
Found a find in the Egyptian oasis of Bahariya. There, sediments of the same name formation (Bahariya Formation) come to the surface. Their age is dated within the Cretaceous period (100.5-93.9 million years ago).
In these sediments at the beginning of the 20th century, the German paleontologist Ernst Stromer discovered a fossil of giant carnivorous dinosaurs.
- Spinosaurus (Spinosaurus aegyptiacus),
- Carcharodontosaurus (Carcharodontosaurus saharicus),
- And Bahariasaurus.
Unfortunately, they were all destroyed during the bombing of Munich in 1944. But subsequently, the fossil remains of Spinosaurus and Carcharodontosaurus were found, in particular, in the sediments of the Kam-Kem group in Morocco, and the deltadromy (Deltadromeus agilis) found there may be a synonym for Bahariasaurus.
Research at the Bahariya Oasis
Paleontological work in the Baharia oasis resumed only at the beginning of the 21st century. For example, in 2001, scientists published a description of a sauropod called Paralititan stromeri.
Belal Salem of Ohio University and colleagues from Egypt and the United States described a carnivorous dinosaur neck vertebra found in the Bahariya Formation in 2016.
Scientists attributed it to the Abelisauridae family, whose representatives are distinguished by a short skull and small forelimbs – they are even more reduced than those of a tyrannosaurus rex. However, this vertebra was not enough to describe a new taxon.
The researchers note that abelisaurids were found in the Bahariya Formation for the first time – this is the second unequivocal find of representatives of this family in all of Egypt (the first is an isolated tooth from the upper cream deposits). Paleontologists have estimated the length of the abelisaurid at about six meters.
Thus, this dinosaur joins the list of large theropods of Baharia – although it is significantly inferior in size to such giants as Spinosaurus or Carcharodontosaurus.
Scientists believe that abelisaurids were previously found in the deposits of the Moroccan Cam-Kem group, so their find further exacerbates the similarity between the Bahariya and Cam-Kem paleofaunas.
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