Shark-Eating Dino Fossil Found in Utah, USA

This is a Dilophosaurus video from the USA.

From Discovery News:

A Utah site frozen in Early Jurassic time recently yielded discoveries that include an enormous, previously unknown carnivorous dinosaur, a new shark species, at least three other new fish and three new trees.

All of the now-extinct organisms once thrived in or around a giant lake 200 million years ago, according to paleontologists who made the finds.

Anatomical features and track marks linked to the dinosaur suggest it specialized in eating and catching fish, including sharks and huge bony fish that, when consumed, would have been “like biting through chain mail,” Utah State paleontologist James Kirkland told Discovery News.

The fish-loving dino, which the researchers believe was a cousin of the crested dino Dilophosaurus, would have been a formidable adversary to its fearsome prey.

“These (dinosaurs) got up to 18-20 feet in length, 6-7 feet high at the hips, and weighed between 750-1,000 pounds,” explained Andrew Milner, city paleontologist at the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site on Johnson Farm, Utah, where the excavations took place.

Long, sharp teeth at the front of the dinosaur’s mouth helped to keep fish from flying out, said Kirkland, while other, more slender teeth had “steak-knife serration” wear patterns between the tip and the gum line.

“The only other meat-eating dinosaurs with teeth worn like that are the spinosaurs Spinosaurus and Suchimimus from North Africa where large … fish dominated,” said Kirkland.

One of the fish species discovered at the site, now called Lake Dixie, was indeed a semionotid — an early type of fish that usually had an elongated body, gills, jaws and scales or bony plates.

“Fish in the past were more armored than they are today,” Kirkland explained.

The new shark species, named Lissodus johnsonorum, would have been an easier dinner, since its skeleton was made of cartilage and not hard bone, but the crunchy fish were more prevalent in the lake and outnumbered sharks 10 to one.

The Dilophosaurus relative also possessed nasal openings that retracted back from the end of its snout so, like today’s crocodiles and alligators, it could still breath when its mouth was underwater.

Perhaps the most dramatic finds at the site are the dinosaur track marks.

Milner said these belonged to several creatures including other dinosaur species, other reptiles and early ancestors of mammals.

Acanthodii, extinct ‘spiny sharks’: here.

Dinosaur tracks in California: here.


6 thoughts on “Shark-Eating Dino Fossil Found in Utah, USA

  1. Pingback: First carnivorous dinosaur tracks discovered in Victoria, Australia | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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