Scientists have discovered a new species of dinosaur that lived around 90 million years ago.
It was about 26 feet long and weighed more than a ton.
It would have been the largest carnivorous predator in that ecosystem at the time, scientists said.
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Scientists have found a previously unknown, 26-foot-long dinosaur that ruled the food chain before the T. rex.
The study, a collaboration between University of Calgary in Canada and Tsukuba University in Japan, was published in the peer-reviewed journal Royal Society Open Science on Tuesday.
The Ulughbegsaurus uzbekistanensis (pronounced oo-LOOG-bek-SAW-rus, according to CBS News) was a meat-eating dinosaur would have roamed Central Asia more than 90 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous Period.
It would have towered over other predators at the time, including the tyrannosaurus, which were a lot smaller than the T. rex, which appeared about 7 million years later.
The scientists estimated that the Ulughbegsaurus was about 26 feet long, according to a Tsukuba University statement. It also weighed more than 1,000 kilograms (1.1 tons), the study said.
“It would have been the largest carnivorous predator of the ecosystem at that time,” said Darla Zelenitsky, associate professor of dinosaur paleobiology at the University of Calgary and one of the study’s authors, per CBS News.
The Ulughbegsaurus also had shark-like teeth, CBS News reported, with Zelenitsky calling the discovery “the latest occurrence of one of these shark-tooth dinosaurs.”
The dinosaur was a type of carcharodontosaur, a group of dinosaurs in which there are only two other known species. The Ulughbegsaurus was named after Ulugh Beg, a sultan and astronomer who lived in the region in the 1400s.
The bone fragments and teeth that led to the discovery of the new dinosaur were unearthed from the Kyzylkum Desert in Uzbekistan in the 1980s, CBS News reported.
But Kohei Tanaka, a University of Tsukuba professor who led the study, was the first to realize that the pieces had belonged to an undiscovered species, per CBS News.
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