Kurupi itaata: New Predatory Dinosaur Unearthed in Brazil
Paleontologists in Brazil have found fossil fragments from a new species of abelisaurid theropod dinosaur that walked the Earth during the Cretaceous period.
The newly-discovered dinosaur lived in what is now southeastern Brazil some 70 million years ago (Late Cretaceous period).
Dubbed Kurupi itaata, the species was a type of abelisaurid, a group of bipedal predators that thrived on the ancient southern supercontinent Gondwana.
Its fossilzied remains were found in the municipality of Monte Alto in western São Paulo state.
“Kurupi itaata represents the first named tetrapod dinosaur for the Marília Formation (Bauru Group), a geological unit that occurs on São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Goiás, and Mato Grosso do Sul states, Brazil,” said Dr. Fabiano Vidoi Iori from the Museu de Paleontologia ‘Pedro Candolo’ and the Museu de Paleontologia ‘Prof. Antônio Celso de Arruda Campos’ and his colleagues.
“This formation consists predominantly of paleosols developed in a semiarid/arid environment and recent reappraisal of its formerly known members reduced its lithological composition and geographical distribution.”
“It has a very sparse vertebrate fossil record without named species so far.”
The paleontologists examined three caudal vertebrae and a partial pelvic girdle of Kurupi itaata.
They found that the ancient beast was approximately 5 m (16.4 feet) long and had a rigid tail.
It was well adapted for running as indicated by its a muscles attachment and bones anatomy.
“This new taxon shares with other South American abelisaurids fused ischia and caudal vertebrae with long and laterodorsally oriented transverse processes, with fan-shaped distal ends,” they said.
“It contributes to the knowledge of the Maastrichtian continental fauna of Brazil and increases the diversity of medium-sized abelisaurids in western Gondwana.”
The discovery of Kurupi itaata is described in a paper in the Journal of South American Earth Sciences.
Fabiano Vidoi Iori et al. New theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Brazil improves abelisaurid diversity. Journal of South American Earth Sciences, published online September 4, 2021; doi: 10.1016/j.jsames.2021.103551