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New dinosaur species discovered by NCSU scientist, colleague

Posted November 22, 2013

— Two scientists, including a North Carolina State University professor who works at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, have discovered a new species of carnivorous dinosaur, the university announced Friday. 

Lindsay Zanno, a paleontologist, helped discover the existence of the Siats Meekerorum, one of the three largest dinosaurs ever found in North America. They would have lived alongside and competed with small-bodied tyrannosaurs nearly 100 million years ago.

“It’s been 63 years since a predator of this size has been named from North America,” Zanno said in a news release.  “You can’t imagine how thrilled we were to see the bones of this behemoth poking out of the hillside.”

Zanno and Peter Makovicky, from Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History, discovered the partial skeleton of the new predator in Utah's Cedar Mountain Formation in 2008. 

The recovered skeleton belonged to a dinosaur that would have been more than 30 feet long and weighed at least four tons. Despite their giant size, the bones recovered in Utah were from a juvenile. 

According to Zanno, Siats terrorized what is now Utah during the Late Cretaceous period (100 million years ago to 66 million years ago). It had been unclear which animal was the top meat-eater was in North America during this time. Newly discovered dinosaur would have competed with T-rex Newly discovered dinosaur would have competed with T-rex

The lack of fossils left paleontologists unsure about when this change happened and if tyrannosaurs outcompeted carcharodontosaurs, a group of carnivorous dinosaurs that existed between 100 and 93 million years ago, or were simply able to assume apex predator roles following carcharodontosaur extinction.

Thanks to the 2008 discovery, Zanno and Makovicky said it is now clear that Siats’ large size would have prevented smaller tyrannosaurs from taking their place atop the food chain.

"Contemporary tyrannosaurs would have been no more than a nuisance to Siats, like jackals at a lion kill. It wasn’t until carcharodontosaurs bowed out that the stage could be set for the evolution of T. rex," Zanno said.

19 Comments

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  • Lightfoot3 Nov 25, 11:07 a.m.

    "So what came first? The chicken or the egg" - whatelseisnew


    The "chicken" came first. The "egg", as a means of reproduction, came later.

  • sixnitepkg Nov 22, 7:31 p.m.

    Uh huh and because they are guessing you decide that this becomes FACT and that anything that does not conform to stuff that you have BEEN taught is unquestionably false. Yet almost every day we read stories where supposed fact was just proved to be incorrect. Near as I can tell the only thing that really evolves is supposed scientific FACT. Kind of like Ethanol being good for the environment. Amazing how people want to believe entire food chains of species evolved from the primordial mud. So what came first? The chicken or the egg. Surely the science guessers must know.
    whatelseisnew

    Did I not say "educated guess"? no one is suggesting that this is 100% positive that is what they looked like! not having 100% proof doesn't make it wrong.

    Ex: W/ no witness Billy-Ray shoots Jim-Bob & drops the gun. Billy-Ray's fingerprint's on the trigger, & bullet from Jim-Bob's body matches the gun. Now, you'd acquit, because there's NO PROOF, right? ever heard the phrase "preponderance of evidence"?

  • HeadsUp Nov 22, 3:43 p.m.

    "HeadsUp, it can be likened to bigotry if the person has a thyroid problem contributing to their obesity. -- Obamacare for one and all"

    Perhaps, but hypothyroidism (for which medication is available) contributes to a small percentage of our nation's worsening obesity epidemic, which imposes high costs on us all.

    Most of us can control how much we eat and how much we exercise -- quite unlike our gender, skin color, etc.

    We will not end our national obesity epidemic until we stop making excuses and confront it head-on.

    And as voters we should consider whether presidential candidates of either party who let themselves become and remain obese have the requisite judgment and self-discipline to master the world's hardest job. I'm not saing love handles are a disqualifier; I'm saying being a walking heart-attack is.

  • Obamacare for one and all Nov 22, 2:48 p.m.

    HeadsUp, it can be likened to bigotry if the person has a thyroid problem contributing to their obesity.

  • Vote for Pedro Nov 22, 1:12 p.m.

    So what came first? The chicken or the egg. whatelseisnew

    The egg of course.

  • Obamacare for one and all Nov 22, 12:58 p.m.

    I think Jesus actually looked more like Jimi Hendrix.

  • Get your IDs Nov 22, 12:47 p.m.

    The othe two being William Howard Taft and Chris Christie.

    HeadsUp

    Cant wait for the open minded liberals to show their bigotry towards fat people if Christie gets the nod.

  • whaaaat Nov 22, 12:37 p.m.

    Uh huh and because they are guessing you decide that this becomes FACT and that anything that does not conform to stuff that you have BEEN taught is unquestionably false. Yet almost every day we read stories where supposed fact was just proved to be incorrect. Near as I can tell the only thing that really evolves is supposed scientific FACT. Kind of like Ethanol being good for the environment. Amazing how people want to believe entire food chains of species evolved from the primordial mud. So what came first? The chicken or the egg. Surely the science guessers must know. - whatelseisnew

    If you even knew anything about science you'd know they dont deal in 'facts', they deal in evidence, which is peer reviewed. When new information is discovered, the evidence is reviewed. Better than relying on one single book for your answers (considering dinosaurs weren't even mentioned in said book).

  • redapace Nov 22, 12:35 p.m.

    "Saw this story and the picture on the news this morning. So how do they know it had red and green markings? Or is that just an artistic guess? Jimm57"

    How do they know Jesus was a white guy with long brown hair and a beard?

  • whatelseisnew Nov 22, 12:12 p.m.

    By the way, a siat chased several deer through my backyard this morning.

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