The “lake hunter”, a big carnivorous dinosaur present in La Rioja and distinctive on the planet | Science | EUROtoday

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It has been named as Riojavenatrix lacustris and it’s a new dinosaur species, distinctive on the planet of paleontology. The fossil, present in Igea (La Rioja), corresponds to a specimen of the spinosaurid household between 7 and eight meters in size, 2.5 meters in peak and round 1,500 kilograms in weight, which walked on its hind limbs. within the Lower Cretaceous, roughly 120 million years in the past. His portrait is accomplished with different traits typical of theropods (a bunch that features giant carnivorous dinosaurs): a head with a low and elongated cranium, outstanding jaws with sharp tooth and arms with highly effective claws with three useful fingers, with which he may simply take away the heads of his prey.

Their principal eating regimen was fish. “It is possible that he fished on the shores of the lake, hence his name, Riojaventrix lacustriswhich refers to the hunter of Lake La Rioja, although it is not ruled out that it could feed on terrestrial prey,” explains Francisco Sáez Benito, honorary director of the Paleontological Interpretation Center of La Rioja.

This analysis, whose first fossil stays have been present in 1983 in one of many present websites in Igea (a Rioja city of barely 650 inhabitants), has been revealed within the British journal Zoological Journal of the Linneal Society and confirms “the existence of a new genus and species of spinosaurid,” in keeping with these liable for the work.

“It is the first dinosaur described in La Rioja,” add the authors of the examine, and the fifth spinosaurid recorded on this interval of prehistory within the Iberian Peninsula. It thus joins a listing through which the Camarillasaurus, in Aragon; he Vallibonavenatrix and the Protathlonwithin the Valencian Community, and the Iberospinusin Portugal.

Illustration of reconstruction of the dinosaur discovered in La Rioja
Illustration of reconstruction of the dinosaur found in La RiojaArdián Blázquez

This discovering is included within the doctoral thesis by the researcher on the University of the Basque Country, Erik Isasmendi. “The new genus and species, which we colloquially call Britney“, is the result of the discovery of a partial skeleton, which consists of hind limbs (femur, tibia, fibula, ankle bones and phalanges of the foot) and the pelvis (pubis and ischium), as well as a vertebral rest,” Isasmendi clarifies about the findings of the Garras research team, which works at the ichnites (fossil remains) site in the small town of Igea in Rioja.

The paleontologist also highlights that the new dinosaur “presents a combination of anatomical characters that make it unique and allows it to be differentiated from other spinosaurids, including the Baryonyx”, in reference to the enduring skeleton of that dinosaur that’s exhibited within the Natural History Museum in London.

He Riojavenatrix It is not the only great discovery at that paleontological site. Other fossil remains had also been found there, such as one of the “most complete skeletons known in Europe and the world” of a spinosaurid dinosaur, which was named Villar.

“The fossils discovered are of great paleontological interest and allow us to put La Rioja on the world map of spinosaurids and carnivorous dinosaurs,” says Xabier Pereda, one of the directors of the doctoral thesis and director of excavation at Igea.

“These discoveries raise many new questions about the ecology of these animals, that is, about how these species coexisted with each other. And that leads us to rethink future more detailed studies on spinosaurids from which, surely, important results will be obtained,” reflects Elena Cuesta, co-author of the study and researcher at the Egidio Feruglio Paleontological Museum (Argentina) and at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany).

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