Growing up and watching Jurassic Park, there was nothing more terrifying than the T-Rex. Well, at least that’s what we thought! Turns out, thanks to researchers at the University of Calgary, we now know that there was actually a bigger, badder, more predatory dinosaur than that of the Tyrannosaurus – the Ulughbegasaurus.
Now, while its name certainly isn’t as memorable as its smaller toothy counterpart, this meat-eating lizard is incredibly significant.
90 million years ago the Ulughbegasaurus, which was approximately 5 times the size of the T-Rex that existed at the same time, dominated the prehistoric era before going extinct. Later, the T-Rex would grow to become the giant that we know of today, but the Ulughbegasaurus was the baddest dino on the planet for a while.
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According to scientists, this beast weighed over 1,000 kilograms, was somewhere between 7.5-metres to 8-metres in length, and had blade-like teeth and a knife-like bite. Good lord…
According to The Calgary Herald, the very first fossil, a jumbo-sized jaw, was discovered in the 1980s by a Russian paleontologist in Uzbekistan and actually sat in the State Geological Museum for years before being taken to Calgary for further examination – so it’s been a long time coming!
Here, using virtual 3-D modelling, U of C alumnus Dr. Kohei Tanaka and Zelenitsky were able to determine that the bones actually belonged to a new species of a dinosaur – an apex preditor that they had always theorized existed above the t-rex on the food chain.
Though they’re not sure why exactly this dinosaur went extinct when it did, one thing is for sure – the Ulughbegasaurus was nothing to mess with.