Scientists on Wednesday described Tratayenia, a two-legged beast up to about 30 feet (9 meters) long, based on fossils unearthed in Argentina's Neuquen province, adding another impressive dinosaur to the list of those that inhabited Patagonia during the Cretaceous Period.
It was a member of a group called megaraptorids that lived in the Southern Hemisphere from about 105 to 85 million years ago. The group was recognised by palaeontologists only in the past few years, and all of its members -- including Tratayenia -- are known only from incomplete skeletons.
"Megaraptorids, although still mysterious, seem to have been a pretty badass bunch of predatory dinosaurs," said palaeontologist Matt Lamanna of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh.
"Using the remains of different species, including Tratayenia, we can make something like a 'police composite' of a megaraptorid skeleton," Lamanna added. "Megaraptorids had long, low skulls that were crammed with lots of small but sharp and serrated teeth, bones that were riddled with air cavities, and powerful forelimbs that were tipped with absolutely ginormous, wickedly hooked claws on the innermost two fingers."
For Tratayenia, the researchers found about half of the back vertebrae, all its hip vertebrae, some ribs and a fair bit of the pelvis, but none of the skull, limbs or tail.
Patagonia boasted some of the most impressive dinosaurs ever found, including the giant predator Giganotosaurus and the immense long-necked, four-legged plant-eaters Patagotitan, Argentinosaurus and Dreadnoughtus.
It lived in an ecosystem that included smaller carnivorous dinosaurs including Viavenator, large herbivores such as Traukutitan, snakes similar to boas, crocs, turtles and birds, Porfiri added.
The best known member of Tratayenia's group is Megaraptor, which lived slightly earlier in Patagonia and wielded 16-inch (40-cm) claws.
"Megaraptorids certainly would have been terrifying to encounter in life: big, heavily armed and powerful, but also probably lighter on their feet than really giant meat-eaters such as Giganotosaurus or T. rex," Lamanna said.
The research was published in the journal Cretaceous Research.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Follow NDTV for latest election news and live coverage of assembly elections 2019 in Maharashtra and Haryana.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for latest news and live news updates.