Palaeontologists digging in a brickyard in southern Poland have discovered the fossilised remains of a previously unknown ancestor of the great Tyrannosaurus Rex. The predator dinosaur, which has currently been given the working name “Dragon”, lived around 200 million years ago, says team member Dr. Tomasz Sulej of the Polish Science Academy. The incomplete skeleton was excavated from a brickyard in Lisowice village, about 200 km from Warsaw, Poland’s capitol.
The dinosaur measured 5 metres in length and moved on two legs. Its longest teeth were 7 cm (2 inches) long. “This is a completely new type of dinosaur that was so far unknown,” Sulej said on Friday. “Nobody even expected that members of this group lived in that time, so this gives us new knowledge about the whole evolution of the T-Rex group.”
The palaeontologists will continue examining the bones and fully document the discovery before they decide what scientific name to give to the new dinosaur. The findings will be exhibited in Lisowice next week.
At the same site the group also found a dicynodon — a reptile that was a direct ancestor of mammals. The scientists are almost certain that the “Dragon” hunted animals like this herbivorous dicynodon, which looked like an overgrown hippopotamus.