(CBS Local) — Did the T-Rex have some ferocious company millions of years ago? A group of scientists have discovered evidence of a gigantic “mega” dinosaur in southern Africa that may have been the biggest meat-eater on the continent.
In a release from the University of Manchester, researchers from the UK, South Africa, and Brazil found footprints that date back 200 million years. The giant tracks were found near what the team believes was an ancient river bank in the present day country of Lesotho. According to their estimates, the researchers believe the tracks came from a beast that was around 30 feet long and 10 feet tall.
The news, published in the Journal PLOS ONE, says the footprints belong to a newly discovered species called Kayentapus ambrokholohali. The creature is part of a larger group of dinosaurs called “megatheropods,” or two-legged meat eaters.
“The latest discovery is very exciting and sheds new light on the kind of carnivore that roamed what is now southern Africa,” University of Manchester’s Dr. Fabien Knoll said.
The new dinosaur joins a terrifying class of dinosaurs that includes the Tyrannosaurus Rex, whose fossils show was around 40 feet long. The team added that, until now, only smaller carnivores had been found it that region and those date back to the Jurassic period.
“There are numerous palaeosurfaces where footprints and even tail and body impressions of these, and other animals, can be found. But now we have evidence this region of Africa was also home to a mega-carnivore,” Dr. Knoll added.