The remains of most dinosaurs that were able to tear even the largest animals to shreds are usually found in the United States. However, the fossils of ancient predators are also full in Canada. For example, over the past 50 years, bones of gorgosaurs have been found there, the name of which can be literally translated as “formidable lizard”. Also in 1970, the remains of the so-called daspletosaurus, which is a close relative of the bloodthirsty tyrannosaurs, were excavated there. To the surprise of scientists, the remains of many other ancient creatures are stored under Canadian lands. So, recently in the Canadian province of Alberta, the fossils of another predator were unearthed, which was clearly stronger and more fierce than the tyrannosaurs shown in the film “Jurassic Park”.
The new find of paleontologists was described on the website of the Royal Tyrrell Paleontological Museum (Canada). The excavated dinosaur was given the name Thanatotheristes degrootorum, which literally can be translated as “reaper of death.” This is a clear hint that the predator was very powerful and attacked both herbivores and other predators. We can say that he stood at the very top of the food chain and he had practically no enemies – he himself instilled fear in everyone.
The most dangerous type of tyrannosaurus
It is worth noting that the “reaper of death” was considered the most dangerous only in the Cretaceous period, which ended 66 million years ago and is considered the last stage of the dinosaur era. In other periods of the times of the dinosaurs, more ferocious creatures could live. One of them was the Allosaurus Jimmadseni dinosaur, which with its 80 teeth could even tear apart huge stegosaurs and diplodocus. But what outstanding features did the new Thanatotheristes degrootorum possess?
According to the calculations of a group of scientists led by paleontologist Jared Voris, the growth of the ancient “reaper of death” was about 2.4 meters. The length of the dinosaur from the tip of the nose to the tail was approximately eight meters. Sounds impressive and intimidating, right? Given that the predator also had dozens of 7-centimeter teeth, the image of a real monster in general arises in the imagination.
Unlike other tyrannosaurs, Thanatotheristes degrootorum possessed a number of unique features. For example, vertical ridges flaunted on the upper jaw of a predator, whose purpose is unknown to scientists so far. In addition, the “death reaper” had eye sockets with round, strongly swollen edges, as well as a pronounced sagittal crest, which is a bone formation in the upper part of the skull.
It is noteworthy that paleontologists made the above conclusions based only on an 80-centimeter fragment of a dinosaur skull. The full skeleton of an ancient predator has not yet been found, but if it were, scientists would be able to tell more interesting information about the bloodthirsty monster.
Despite this, even the discovery made is very important for the scientific community. Firstly, the discovery and study of ancient predators in itself is very interesting for paleontologists. And secondly, by discovering a new species of tyrannosaurs, scientists became convinced of the wide variety of predators in the Cretaceous period. Perhaps in the future, researchers will share great details about the “reaper of death”.