The predator of Argentine Patagonia
- Name: Abelisaurus
- Diet: Carnivore
- Weight: 3 tons
- Period: Jurassic
- Found In: Argentina
The Abelisaurus is a carnivorous dinosaur that lived in Patagonia, which would become the southern territory of Chile and Argentina today, during the late Cretaceous period, also called the Upper Cretaceous, that is to say, approximately between 83 and 80 million years ago.
Only one huge skull has been discovered so far, a finding that revolutionized the world of paleontology.
The skull was found in 1985 in the area of Patagonia by historian and paleontologist Roberto Abel, who gave it his name. Abelisaurus means “Abel’s lizard” or “Abel’s reptile”, depending on whether you want to call it a reptile or a lizard.
Roberto Abel was the Founder of the Carlos Ameghino Provincial Museum of Cipolletti and Professor at the Manuel Belgrano School in Cipolletti, which is a city located in the west of the General Roca department in the province of Río Negro in Argentina. City where the teacher died in 2008, at the age of 89.
However, two great Argentine paleontologists have also documented and studied this dinosaur, such as Fernando Novas and José Fernando Bonaparte, who are documenting great studies such as that of the Argentinosaurus, a herbivorous dinosaur that also inhabited Patagonia.
But we continue with our great carnivorous dinosaur, the Abelisaurus, to which we will introduce you in depth.
- Taxonomy of the Abelisaurus
- The kingdom of the Abelisaurus is Animalia
- The division to which the Abelisaurus belongs is Chordata
- The superclass is Tetrapoda
- The class of which the Abelisaurus is a part is Sauropsida
- The subclass is the Diapside
- The order of which the Abelisaurus is part is Saurischia
- The suborder is Theropodaa
- The suborder that Abelisaurus belongs to is Ceratosauria
- The Abelisaurus family is the Abelisauridae.
- And finally, the species to which it belongs is the Abelisaurus Comahuensis.
Characteristics of the Abelisaurus
Following the discovery of the skull, a series of calculations have been made from which the measurements that this impressive carnivore could have had have been obtained. It is estimated that it could have weighed about 3 tons and measured about 9 meters in length, that is, from the tip of the tail to the tip of the snout.
It is believed that it could easily turn its head from one side to the other, having full mobility to almost any side and angle of its head, thanks to the shape of its neck, which was in S.
They were bipedal theropods and walked fully upright on their two powerful hind legs, supporting the weight of the whole body on their large, strong toes.
Logically, being carnivorous, they had powerful and enormous claws in their hind legs, while their front legs were barely mobile, in fact it is believed that they were almost useless; their teeth were very sharp, elongated and curved.
It is also believed that it was one of the fastest dinosaurs at the time, reaching up to 30 km/h, there is nothing!
Many of the details and characteristics we have mentioned have also been reached thanks to the study of all the dinosaurs that make up the Abelisauridae family, to which the Carnotaurus, a carnivorous dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous period and which also lived in Patagonia and which has been used to a great extent as a comparative dinosaur, for instance, belongs.
Something all these dinosaurs from the Abelisauridae family had in common was that they were theropods, with very muscular, robust and strong hind limbs, whereas their front extremities were very small and their skulls were large, narrow and with cracks, which favored them as it reduced their weight, making them lighter.
The Abelisaurus Skull
Let’s focus a little more in detail on what the Abelisaurus skull looks like, which was found almost entirely in 1985, as we have already said by Dr. Abel.
It was about 85 centimeters long and had large openings that made it lighter, as well as having some nasal roughness, which makes us think that it had a highly developed sense of smell.
Another characteristic of the Abelisaurus’ skull is its two small, rough crests, which are believed to have been used by the males to fight each other in the mating season and to court the females.
Its muzzle or jaw is rounded at the front and its teeth are real knives, in fact, they have a serrated inner edge, are long, flat and curved to easily tear their prey once it has been bitten.
Their eyes were located in the highest part of the skull apparently protected by a bulge that comes out just above as an “eyebrow” and that would serve to protect them.
Just behind the eye orbits would be the muscles responsible for opening and closing the jaw, and this musculature had to be so large that something had to be lost in return, and this was the grey matter.
His brain was quite small in comparison. But clearly you can’t have everything, so better to have a powerful jaw to attack with and be able to feed yourself than to be one of the great thinkers of the day.
Where and how did the Abelisaurus live?
The Abelisaurus lived mainly in Patagonia, which today is the southern territory of Chile and Argentina; although it is also believed that it could have lived in North America, but this last one is just a guess.
Although the Abelisaurus was an apparently solitary dinosaur, it is believed that when it came to hunting it could have done so in organized groups, being one of the largest predators of the moment. The fact is that the union makes the force, especially when the prey they were stalking were huge sauropods of about 30 meters long.
It is thought that some of these victims that the Abelisaurus could have fed on would have been the Kritosaurus or Titanosaurus.
However, it is also believed that it could have been scavengers and could have fed on those dead animals found along the way.
So in summary we could say that the Abelisaurus mainly ate the animals it hunted, but at no time would it have missed what it could find, either because it had been abandoned by other predators or because the animal itself had died for other reasons.
But was he really the greatest predator in history?
It is difficult to answer this question especially when it is an extinct species from so many years ago and only one skull has been found. He managed to obtain many of his physical characteristics, such as how much he weighed or averaged, comparing him to other dinosaurs similar to him