The find also appears to have solved a 100-year-old mystery about the region of North Africa where it was found, an area known as the Kem Kem Beds. This area in Morocco has a very large concentration of fossils of giant predator dinosaurs, and the mystery surrounding it is known as Stromer’s Riddle.
The EurekAlert press release continues with the details on the mystery and what the team’s research revealed:
The fossil originated from a sedimentary outcrop in Morocco called the Kem Kem Beds, which are well known for the unusual abundance of giant predatory dinosaur fossils. This phenomenon is called Stromer’s Riddle, in honour the German palaeontologist Ernst Stromer, who first identified this abundance in 1912. Since then scientists have been asking how abelisaurs and five other groupings of predatory dinosaurs could have co-existed in this region at the same time, without hunting each other into extinction.
Now the researchers in today’s study suggest that these predatory dinosaur groups may not have co-existed so closely together. They believe that the harsh and changing geology of the region mixed the fossil fragment records together, destroying its chronological ordering in the Kem Kem beds, and giving the illusion that the abelisaurs and their predatory cousins shared the same terrain at the same time. Similar studies of fossil beds in nearby Tunisia, for example, show that creatures like abelisaurs were inland hunters, while other predators like the fish eating spinosaurs probably lived near mangroves and rivers.
Chiarenza added: “This fossil find, along with the accumulated wealth of previous studies, is helping to solve the question of whether abelisaurs may have co-existed with a range of other predators in the same region. Rather than sharing the same environment, which the jumbled up fossil records may be leading us to believe, we think these creatures probably lived far away from one another in different types of environments.”
For more amazing details on this extraordinary and unusual find, see the excellent press release on the EurekAlert website.
Source: EurekAlert.org – “Fossil find reveals just how big carnivorous dinosaur may have grown“
Featured Image Credit: Imperial College London/Davide Bonadonna
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