Argentine researchers find distant Tyrannosaurus rex relative

Meet the 'Thunder reptile': T-rex's flesh-eating smaller cousin that lived 90 million years ago is discovered in Argentina  Researchers describe both a new genus and new species from fossilised bones  Fragments of skull, teeth, ribs, hip and tail were found in central Argentina  The new species Tralkasaurus cuyi was a 14-foot-long carnivorous dinosaur  

By Jonathan Chadwick For Mailonline

Published: 17:58 GMT, 14 February 2020 | Updated: 18:00 GMT, 14 February 2020

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The fossilised remains of a 90-million-year-old carnivorous dinosaur distantly related to the infamous T-rex have been discovered in Argentina.

The beast, christened Tralkasaurus cuyi, was a flesh-eating 13-foot long dinosaur. Its name means 'terrible reptile' in the local Mapuche language common in Patagonia. 

The new species would have been dwarfed by its distant cousin, the Tyrannosaurus rex, which could grow to more than 40 feet in length. 

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Vertebrate Paleontologist Sebastián Rozadilla's impression of the Tralkasaurus cuyi, which is the first species to be described in the Tralkasaurus genus

Vertebrate Paleontologist Sebastián Rozadilla's impression of the Tralkasaurus cuyi, which is the first species to be described in the Tralkasaurus genus

Remains of the dinosaur – including fragments of skull, teeth, ribs, hip and tail – were discovered in the central Argentine province of Rio Negro. 

The dinosaur skeleton was found at a plateau called El Cuy at the Violante Farm fossil site.   

It is thought the predator feasted on smaller herbivorous dinosaurs known as iguanodontes.

These have been found by the same team of palaeontologists in nearby locations, along with other species such as turtles and lizards.

Map of El Cuy region showing the Violante farm fossil site where remains of the new species were discovered

Map of El Cuy region showing the Violante farm fossil site where remains of the new species were discovered 

Mauricio Cerroni at the Bernardino Rivadavia Museum of Natural Science in Buenos Aires. Left, maxillary bone, which is of the upper fixed bone of the jaw

Mauricio Cerroni at the Bernardino Rivadavia Museum of Natural Science in Buenos Aires. Left, maxillary bone, which is of the upper fixed bone of the jaw

Just like the T. rex, this new species in the Tralkasaurus genus was a short-necked and muscular biped with four claws on each of its hind legs.

Its arms were very short in comparison to the rest of its body and the bones of the creature's extremities were light and hollow. 

'The size of the Tralkasaurus body is smaller than other carnivores in its group – the abelisaurids,' said Dr Federico Agnolin, an investigator from the Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences.

Remains of Tralkasaurus cuyi found in Río Negro included fragments of skull, teeth, ribs, hip and tail

Remains of Tralkasaurus cuyi found in

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