Paleontologists had just announced a new species of dinosaur called Allosaurus jimmadseni. The dinosaur was identified to live about 155 million years ago.
Their findings of the new species — dubbed Allosaurus jimmadseni — were released Friday in the science journal PeerJ. The study not only identified a second Allosaurus species — the other being Allosaurus fragilis — but it found that the upward of 12 Allosaurus species named in North America were actually misidentified as anything other than the Allosaurus fragilis. The discovery, researchers say, helps understand how the ecosystem changed over the course of millions of years.
The dinosaur’s skeleton was first found on July 15, 1990, at the Dinosaur National Monument in Utah, USA. At that time, they were surrounded by a large rock with a weight of 2,700 kg. Scientists are forced to use explosives to detach the fossil from the rock before a helicopter was used to fly it out.
It was not until 1996 that its skull was found and reassembled with its body. This is done by Ramal Jones, a retired doctor at the University of Utah.
Scientists say Allosaurus jimmadseni is a large carnivorous dinosaur. The team estimates that the dinosaur is 8-9 m long and weighs about 1,800 kg.
Scientists named the beast Allosaurus jimmadseni, after paleontologist James Madsen Jr. (1932-2009), recognizing him for his “herculean efforts of protecting, excavating, preparing and curating of many thousands of Allosaurus bones,” the researchers wrote in the study.
Allosaurus jimmadseni was identified to live in the late Jurassic, in the flood plains of western North America. It is also the oldest Allosaurus dinosaur to ever be found, far beyond the famous Allosaurus fragilis in Utah.
“Previously, paleontologists thought there was only one species of Allosaurus in Jurassic North America, but this study shows there were two species — the newly described Allosaurus jimmadseni evolved at least 5 million years earlier than its younger cousin, Allosaurus fragilis,” study co-lead researcher Mark Loewen said in a statement. Loewen is a research associate at the Natural History Museum of Utah and an associate professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Utah.
Research has also shown that this creepy bipedal dinosaur has 80 sharp teeth. It has a narrow skull and horns extending from the eyelids along the nose. Each arm has 3 sharp claws.
“The skull of Allosaurus jimmadseni is more lightly built than its later relative Allosaurus fragilis, suggesting a different feeding behavior between the two,” Loewen noted.
This publication continues to give researchers a new perspective on prehistoric times. In 2019, scientists revealed the impact of asteroids that fell to Earth and wiped out dinosaurs. The asteroid attack took place about 66 million years ago and its power was compared to 10 billion atomic bombs.