A new dinosaur has been discovered in Patagonia and its scientific name translates to “the one who causes fear.”
The first word of its name, “Llukalkan,” translates to “the one who causes fear” in Mapuche, which is the language spoken by the indigenous inhabitants found near the discovery site of this new dinosaur, according to this report from HuffPost.
The second word in its name, “aliocranianus,” translates to “unusual skull” in Latin, although if you looked at its skull, you’d find that it resembles that of a T-Rex, or maybe even the Indominus Rex found in Jurassic World.
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That’s because much like the T-Rex, the Llukalkan aliocranianus was a big-headed dinosaur with small arms and large legs. However, a deeper, more scientific look at the skull reveals that it actually seems to indicate the Llukalkan aliocranianus had better hearing than most other dinosaurs of this type.
“A peculiarity of this dinosaur is that it has cavities in the ear area that other abelisaurids did not have, which could have given this species different auditory capacities, possibly a greater hearing range,” the National University of San Luis, Argentina, paleontologist, Federico Gianechini, said in their research paper published about this discovery. “This, together with its keen sense of smell, would have given great capabilities as a predator to this species.”
Many fossilized pieces of this dinosaur, which include teeth, parts of its jaws, the bones around its eye sockets, and more, were discovered in the Bajo de la Carpa Formation in Argentina. This new species of dinosaurs is estimated to have walked the Earth some 80 million years ago, as noted by HuffPost.
According to HuffPost, a press release from Gianechini and their study co-author, Ariel Méndez, reveals that abelisaurids were still alive and well right before all dinosaurs went extinct. It states that as the Tyrannosaurus rex was busy ruling over the Northern Hemisphere, the Llukalkan aliocranianus, which was “one of the 10 currently known species of abelisaurids,” was busy “flourishing in the Southern Hemisphere.”
The press release says the Llukalkan aliocranianus was “likely among the top predators” in Patagonia “due to its formidable size (up to five meters long), extremely powerful bite, very sharp teeth, huge claws in their feet, and their keen sense of smell.”
For more dinosaur reading, check out this story about bat-winged dinosaurs that took 150 million years to evolve into expert fliers and then read this story about a T-Rex and Triceratops locked in the same fossil. Check out this story about scientists who say they have “no intention of raising dinosaurs” after extracting DNA from insects preserved in resin.
Wesley LeBlanc is a news writer, guide writer, and science guru for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @LeBlancWes.