Illustration of Gnathovorax cabreirai in life, together with fantosaurs, in a graphic recreation by paleoartist Márcio Castro.

Universidade Federal de Santa Maria

Lengthy earlier than Tyrannosaurus rex stomped throughout the Earth, a 230-million-year-old Mesozoic meat eater was gnawing its means by the Triassic world. Practically 10 toes lengthy, the small however ferocious Gnathovorax cabreirai — which means “a jaw for devouring issues” — gnashed its sharp, serrated enamel and wielded lengthy claws on fingers that helped seize prey lengthy earlier than some other recognized carnivore. Its story, primarily based on pristine fossilized stays buried in Brazil, survived the occasions and was printed final week within the scientific journal PeerJ.

So remarkably preserved was the dinosaur’s skeleton that the researchers from Universidade Federal de Santa Maria and Universidade de São Paulo who unearthed it had been capable of reconstruct a part of the animal’s mind morphology and determine tell-tale predatory options. 


The rock block with the fossil was found in 2014 in São João do Polêsine by paleontologist Sérgio Furtado Cabreira. 

Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Rodrigo Temp Müller

“Predatory dinosaurs had been an necessary ecological part of terrestrial Mesozoic ecosystems. Although theropod dinosaurs carried this function through the Jurassic and Cretaceous Durations (and possibly the post-Carnian portion of the Triassic), it’s troublesome to depict the Carnian state of affairs, as a result of shortage of fossils,” the analysis workforce wrote in its research. 

The researchers mentioned the excellent state of the skeleton and its completeness means the specimen sheds gentle into poorly understood facets of a whole class of dinosaurs’ anatomy and brains. 

Learn extra: 150-million-year-old sea monster unearthed in once-tropical Poland

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