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T. Rex Predecessor Ruled Before Popular Dino Became King


Paleontologists have discovered a new apex predator dinosaur so large, it may just be the largest species of carnivorous dinosaur to have ever lived in North America.

The dinosaur, named Siats meekerorum a.k.a. "Man Eating Monster,” made its debut on the newest issue of Nature Communications. The fossil specimen of Siats was that of a juvenile, but even then, it’s estimated to measure at least 30 feet long, weighing in at around 9,000 pounds.
The dino’s name Siats is a tribute to the legends of the local Ute native tribe of Utah that tell of a man-eating monster. According to the study’s lead author Lindsay Zanno, Siats, being a juvenile still had plenty of room to grow. In fact, the juvenile Siats and an adult Acrocanthosaurus  only had a femur length difference of 4 inches.

Zanno, director of the Paleontology and Geology Research Laboratory at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, added that their upper estimates of Siats’ body size gives it a body mass larger than T. rex, which occupies the number 1 spot in the ‘man-eater’ list. Siats is classified as a carcharodontosaur, a type of carnivorous dinosaur that’s not only enormous, but also had huge, jagged teeth.

He adds that the existence of an apex predator like Siats prevented T. rex from growing to become the monster that it was. It was only when the large beasts of the time mysyeriously died out that tyrannousaur-type dinos were able to flourish and occupy the spot of apex predator.

Read the full story on Discovery News.

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