T. Rex An­ces­tor Roamed Africa

Science Illustrated - - SCIENCE UPDATE -

AR­CHAE­OL­OGY Foot­prints 57-cm-long and 0.5-m -wide, from an un­known di­nosaur were dis­cov­ered in Lesotho by palaeon­tol­o­gists from the Univer­sity of Manch­ester.

Based on the size of and the dis­tance be­tween the prints, the di­nosaur is be­lieved to have been 3 m tall at the hips and 9 m long, mak­ing it one of the largest that ever roamed Africa. The di­nosaur, Kayen­ta­pus am­brokholo­hali, was a thero­pod – the same as Tyran­nosaurus rex and mod­ern birds.

It lived about 200 mil­lion years ago – 30 mil­lion years af­ter the first di­nosaurs emerged. The lat­ter were the size of Labradors, and so, the dis­cov­ery in­di­cates that the pre­his­toric an­i­mals grew tremen­dously over a short pe­riod of time.

Based on the size of the foot­prints, sci­en­tists es­ti­mate that the African T. rex an­ces­tor was 9 m long.

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