Saturday, August 13

Giant Meraxes: the dinosaur inspired by Game of Thrones | Digital Trends Spanish


A tremendous discovery was made by a group of paleontologists from Argentina, the United States and Canada in the province of Neuquén. It is the Giant Meraxes, a kind of Tyrannosaurus Rex that was named in honor of the game of thrones dragons.

Its complete description has now been published in the specialized magazine Current Biology.

The species belongs to the family of carcharodontosaurids, predators of the Cretaceous, between 100 to 90 million years ago. Since all theropods had the arms short, light bones and bipedal displacement. They were 12 and 13 meters from the snout to the tip of the tail. One of the most distinctive features were the teeth: curved and with sharp denticles.

The name actually comes from the Greek Carcharodontosaurus, which means lizard with shark teeth. With more than four tons of weight “the great dinosaur eater”, as the press release of the National University of Rio Negrowas one of the largest carnivorous lizards in South America.

to the paleontologist John Ignatius Canalea researcher at the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research of Argentina (CONICET) and the National University of Río Negro reminded him of a specific dragon.

“I proposed the name because I love the saga Song of ice and fire. I love the names George RR Martin chose for his dragons and this one fit the bill because the shape is quite similar: a very large reptile with a giant skull. Also because in Neuquén there were already two giant carcharodontosaurs: the Giganotosaurus carolinii –the ‘villain’ of the last jurassic world and the Mapusaurus. This would be the third, like the dragons in the story, which were also three”, he explains.

An interesting finding of the Giant Meraxes is its skull, which, according to Juan Ignacio Canale, “gives us a lot of information about what the anatomy was like. In the case of the arms, we saw that they were very small, something that was suspected but that we can now say with measurements”.

On the other hand, the reduction of the arms was progressive until it represented a proportion of 40% of the size of the femur. There she stopped. They don’t know the reason. “The question is why that limit is established. Why couldn’t they be reduced even more. Why does it stop there? The proportion of that limit is similar in all of them”.

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