Scientists have uncovered a totally new species of dinosaur in northwestern Argentina. The find will help researchers understand why the arms of some species of these pre-historic beings went through an evolutionary process of arm-reduction.
The new species of dinosaur, excavated on a sheep ranch in the rural areas, was discovered many years ago.
Those that worked on the excavation recently said that they faced a number of hurdles from political restraints, local permissions as well as non-co-operation on the part of the land-owner of the sheep ranch.
Peter Makovicky, an author and researcher on the team says this dinosaur in particular was one of the hardest to work on.
Their newest find has been named ‘Gualicho’, which in the local tongue of the Tehuelche folk literally means ‘a curse’.
This is not only because of the hardships they faced before the excavation, but also because their jeep toppled over during their work as well as the fact that they found the remains of the ‘difficult-to-find’ dinosaur on the penultimate day of their work.
Gualicho has been identified as being carnivorous, and is believed to be associated with the T. rex., although its physiology is very different.
The newly found beast stood on two slender legs with forked feet for both balance as well as great speed. Its short arms have yet to be understood fully, as the scientists are of the opinion that the animal relied on its strong jaw to catch prey.
This stems from the fact that the being’s arms were as short as a child’s and wouldn’t serve as much use, or at least none that is understood just yet.
The Gualicho is estimated to have been a little above 6-ft tall and is said to weigh around the same as a Clydesdale horse which is approximately 700kgs to 1000kgs.
Further studies will be conducted to understand if the new find’s arms evolved independently and if the species really does belong to a new branch of two-legged upright carnivores.