A new species of tyrannosaur that stalked North America about 80 million yrs in the past has been discovered by scientists in Canada.
The dinosaur lived in the late Cretaceous Time period, producing it the oldest recognised tyrannosaur from North America.
A further species of tyrannosaur, a Daspletosaurus, was identified in Canada in 1970, a research suggests.
Scientists say the new discovery has specified them insights into the evolution of tyrannosaurs.
Standing around 8ft (two.4m) tall, the predator would have cut an overwhelming figure.
Like its tyrannosaur family members, the carnivorous dinosaur had a very long, deep snout, bumps on its cranium and huge steak-knife-like teeth measuring much more than 7cm (2.7in) lengthy.
The predator’s identify – Thanatotheristes degrootorum – translates to “Reaper of Dying” from the Greek.
“We chose a name that embodies what this tyrannosaur was as the only identified large apex predator of its time in Canada, the reaper of demise,” claimed Darla Zelenitsky, a palaeobiology professor who co-authored the review.
“The nickname has occur to be Thanatos.”
Fragments of Thanatos’s fossilised cranium ended up located by John De Groot, a farmer and palaeontology enthusiast.
He stumbled throughout the fossils in 2010 though climbing close to Hays, a hamlet in southern Alberta.
“The jawbone was an completely breathtaking obtain,” said Mr De Groot. “We understood it was specific mainly because you could plainly see the fossilised teeth.”
Tyrannosaurs, or “tyrant lizards”, were being the dominant predators on land for millions of a long time in advance of the extinction of dinosaurs some 65 million years back.
By the late Cretaceous Period, all over 80 million yrs ago, North American tyrannosaurs had develop into tremendous beasts. But the fossil records in advance of this period of time are patchy.
It is hoped that this new review will assistance palaeontologists fill gaps in their knowledge.
“There are quite few species of tyrannosaurids, comparatively speaking,” claimed Prof Zelenitsky of Canada’s College of Calgary.
“For the reason that of the nature of the food stuff chain these significant apex predators were being scarce as opposed to herbivorous or plant-consuming dinosaurs.”
The examine about Thanatos was revealed very last thirty day period in the Cretaceous Analysis journal.