Discovered in Egypt, Vertebra of a 98-million-year-old dinosaur

An Egyptian-led team of scientists discovered a fossil from a carnivorous dinosaur about 98 millions years ago.

Discovered in Egypt, Vertebra of a 98-million-year-old dinosaur

An Egyptian-led team of scientists discovered a fossil from a carnivorous dinosaur about 98 millions years ago. It was found in Egypt's Western desert.

Researchers discovered the well-preserved neck verbra during a 2016 expedition in Bahariya Oasis, the vast desert. It belonged to an Abelisaurid species, which lived during the Cretaceous period (around 145 to 66,000 million years ago).

These species were more prevalent in Europe and the modern Southern Hemisphere continents like Africa and South America.

It is the first time that Abelisaurid remains, named after Roberto Abel (Argentinean who discovered the species' remains decades ago), have been found in Egypt. It is the oldest fossilized species of its kind in northeastern Africa.

The fossils of Spinosaurus and other well-known dinosaurs were found in the area in the early 20th Century. However, the samples were destroyed by the Bombing in Munich in World War II.

Members of the Mansoura University Vertebrate Palaeontology Centre (MUVP), Egypt’s Environmental Affairs Agency, and U.S. researchers conducted the study. The scientific journal Royal Society Open Science published the results.

Hesham Sallam was the founder director of the MUVP, and a member the research team. He explained to ABC News that a careful operation was performed to remove iron from the vertebra's surfaces.

Sallam said, "It's our first discovery here of a meat-eating dinosaurus in over 100 years... Pennsylvania teams previously discovered fossils of plant-eating dinosaurs within the same area."

He said, "We have other items but we won't make any further announcements at the moment."

Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Natural History describes Abelisaurid to be a "kind of bulldog faced, small-toothed and tiny-armed theropod" that measured approximately six meters (20 feet).

Belal Salem, a member the MUVP and a graduate students at Ohio University, said that the skull of the bulldog resembles a bulldog's shape. He also explained that the teeth look like knife blades which allow it to grab prey and tear away its flesh.

2018 saw the discovery of fossils of a Cretaceous Period dinosaur that ate plants. Last year, remains of a semiaquatic whale, 43 million years old, were discovered in Fayoum, south of Cairo.

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