Paleontologists in Spain have discovered a new species and genus of dinosaur, believed to have roamed the Earth 127 million years ago. The dinosaur is described as having been semi-aquatic, with raptor-like features.
The discovery was made by Dr. Andrés Santos-Cubedo and his colleagues from the Universitat Jaume I. The researchers published their findings of the fossils, a right jaw bone, one tooth, and five vertebrae, in the journal Scientific Reports.
“Spinosaurids comprise of different groups of dinosaurs that are often large, stand on two feet, and are carnivorous,” the paper says.
The bones from the unknown dinosaur were located in the Arcillas de Morella Formation at the locality of Cinctorres, Castellón, Spain.
According to the researchers, the new spinosaurid dinosaur, named Protathlitis cinctorrensis, lived in what is now Spain during the Early Cretaceous epoch, more than 100 million years ago.
The Protathlitis cinctorrensis is described as having a crocodile-like head, known for hunting on both land and in water.
The discovery in Europe has shed more light on the understanding of where spinosaurids lived while roaming the Earth, as scientists believe they may have originated in the continent before they “migrated to Africa and Asia.
However, the report notes that the “evidence of their existence in Spain is mostly based on fossilized tooth remains.”
The creature recently uncovered is believed to have measured up to 11 meters in length and 2 tons in weight, paleontologists said.
“We compared the specimen to data on other spinosaurids to determine its evolutionary relationship to other species,” according to the paper.