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T. Rex Wasn’t Always towards the top of The Meals Chain. Meet What Came Before

About 90 million years back, a huge apex predator – a meat-eating dinosaur with serrated shark-like teeth – prowled what’s now Uzbekistan, according to a different study from the behemoth’s jawbone.


The 26-feet-lengthy (8 meters) animal considered 2,200 pounds (1,000 kilograms), which makes it more than an African elephant and heavier than a bison.

Researchers named it Ulughbegsaurus uzbekistanensis, after Ulugh Beg, a 15th-century astronomer, math wizzard, and sultan from what’s now Uzbekistan.

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What caught scientists unexpectedly could be that the dinosaur was much bigger – two times the space and most five occasions heavier – than its ecosystem’s formerly known apex predator: a tyrannosaur, they found.

Related: The Ten coolest dinosaur findings of 2020 

The slice of jawbone was discovered in Uzbekistan’s Kyzylkum Desert within the 1980s, and researchers rediscovered it in 2019 within an Uzbekistan museum collection.

Illiustration of Ulughbegsaurus compared with smaller tyrannosaur, Timurlengia(Julius Csotonyi)

Above: Sign from the enormous carcharodontosaur Ulughbegsaurus using the smaller sized tyrannosaur Timurlengia.

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The partial jawbone of U. uzbekistanensis is enough to point out the animal would be a carcharodontosaur, or perhaps a “shark-toothed” dinosaur. These carnivores were cousins and competitors of tyrannosaurs, whose most well-known species is Tyrannosaurus rex.

The 2 dinosaur groups were fairly similar, but carcharodontosaurs were generally more slender and gently built compared to heavyset tyrannosaurs, stated study co-investigator Darla Zelenitsky, an affiliate professor of paleobiology in the College of Calgary.


Nevertheless, carcharodontosaurs were usually bigger than tyrannosaur dinosaurs, reaching weights more than 13,200 pounds (6,000 kg). Then, around 90 million to 80 million years back, the carcharodontosaurs disappeared and also the tyrannosaurs increased in dimensions, overtaking as apex predators in Asia and The United States.

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The brand new finding may be the first carcharodontosaur dinosaur discovered in Central Asia, they noted.

Paleontologists already understood the tyrannosaur Timurlengia lived simultaneously and put, but at 13 ft (4 m) long contributing to 375 pounds (170 kg) in weight, Timurlengia was several occasions smaller sized than U. uzbekistanensis, suggesting that U. uzbekistanensis was the apex predator for the reason that ecosystem, gobbling up horned dinosaurs, lengthy-necked sauropods and ostrich-like dinosaurs locally, they stated. 

Reconstruction of Ulughbegsaurus upper jaw with teeth(Dinosaur Valley Studios)

Above: A renovation of Ulughbegsaurus’s upper jaw and teeth.

“Our discovery signifies carcharodontosaurs remained as dominant predators in Asia 90 million years back,” study lead investigator Kohei Tanaka, a helper professor in the Graduate School of Existence and Ecological Sciences in the College of Tsukuba in Japan, told Live Science within an email.

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Peter Makovicky, a professor of paleontology in the College of Minnesota who had been not active in the study, agreed that U. uzbekistanensis was likely towards the top of the neighborhood food chain.


“I believe this bone is really big this will be a large predatory dinosaur and incredibly likely the apex predator in the ecosystem,” Makovicky told Live Science. 

The U. uzbekistanensis finding may be the last known occurrence of the carcharodontosaur along with a tyrannosaur living together prior to the carcharodontosaurs went extinct, they stated.

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They found that U. uzbekistanensis has unique bony bumps above its teeth. However, additionally, it has bony ridges around the sides of their jaw which were like the 79.5 million-year-old tyrannosaur Thanatotheristes degrootorum (whose name means “reaper of dying“) from what’s now Canada.

It’s unclear why both species have these ridges, but possibly it is a situation of convergent evolution, when species that are not carefully related evolve to have similar characteristics, Zelenitsky stated.

The research was printed online Wednesday (Sept. 8) within the journal Royal Society Open Science.

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