A newly discovered dinosaur called Llukalkan aliocranianus was detailed in a new study published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. The dinosaur had a similar appearance to T-rex and was probably, according to the study, a “terrible killer” that had been hanging around Patagonia for about 80 million years.
Llukalkan roamed the region now known as Argentina during the Upper Cretaceous period, according to the new study, which describes a creature that looked like tyrannosaurus rex in many ways, but with some distinct differences. Among other things, this particular dinosaur probably had different hearing abilities compared to other abelissaurids.
The shape of the Llukalkan skull – short and rough – suggests hearing abilities similar to those of modern crocodiles, according to the study. In addition, the newly discovered dinosaur had huge claws that may have allowed it to stab its prey, razor-sharp teeth, a powerful nose and a bone-crushing bite.
Fossilized remains of the Llukalkan were found in a part of Argentina called the Bajo de la Carpa Formation – and, the researchers note, they were only half a mile from the fossilized remains of another Furileusaurian abelisaurid called Viavenator exxoni.
With this latest development, nearly 10 species of theropod dinosaurs Abelisauridae were discovered in Patagonia. These dinosaurs would have walked upright on their legs, using the huge claws on their feet to compensate for their relatively small arms. The findings point to the potential presence of other unknown abelisaurids in the region.