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Palaeontology

Africa's T. rex was one of the last dinosaurs

By T.K. Randall
May 4, 2017 · Comment icon 6 comments



Chenanisaurus was a smaller version of T. rex (pictured). Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Scott Robert Anselmo
An extremely rare fossil belonging to an ancient predatory dinosaur has been found in a mine in Morocco.
Known as Chenanisaurus barbaricus, this Cretaceous-era predator was Africa's answer to Tyrannosaurus rex and lived just before the extinction of the dinosaurs.

The fossil, which was found within a phosphate mine at Sidi Chennane in Morocco's Oulad Abdoun Basin, is so rare that its discovery has been likened to winning the lottery.

"This find was unusual because it's a dinosaur from marine rocks - it's a bit like hunting for fossil whales and finding a fossil lion," said Nick Longrich of the University of Bath.
"It's an incredibly rare find - almost like winning the lottery. But the phosphate mines are so rich, it's like buying a million lottery tickets, so we actually have a chance to find rare dinosaurs like this one."

Chenanisaurus was a bit smaller than its more famous cousin and had a shortened, blunter snout. While T. rex dominated in North America, Chenanisaurus was at the top of the food chain in Africa.

"We have virtually no dinosaur fossils from this time period in Morocco - it may even be the first dinosaur named from the end-Cretaceous in Africa," said Longrich.

"It's also one of the last dinosaurs in Africa before the mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs."

Source: New Scientist | Comments (6)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Tatetopa 6 years ago
Thanks for the news.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Claire. 6 years ago
'Last African dinosaur' discovered in Moroccan mine One of the last dinosaurs living in Africa before their extinction 66 million years ago has been discovered in a phosphate mine in northern Morocco. A study of the fossil, led by the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath, suggests that following the breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana in the middle of the Cretaceous period, a distinct dinosaur fauna evolved in Africa. Read more: Phys.org
Comment icon #3 Posted by BeastieRunner 6 years ago
That's pretty cool.
Comment icon #4 Posted by third_eye 6 years ago
Must have been the loneliest Dino in history ... ~
Comment icon #5 Posted by oldrover 6 years ago
The dinosaur extinction 66 million years ago was a funny sort of extinction. There's still twice as many dinosaur species alive today as there are of the second most diverse vertebrate group, the mammals. And, roughly half of all mammals by species are vulnerable to predation by dinosaurs, and by individual most mammals are. Along with fish, they're also themost widely distributed vertebrate group. Lets be fair, the worst you can say about them is that after the K-Pg extinction is that they on the whole didn't re-radiate into large bodied niches. Although on many occasions they have done j... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by third_eye 6 years ago
Perhaps we should ask the Crocodilians ... I'm sure they knows ... ~


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