According tomedia reports, without Argentina’s road maintenance, the world may never know that a 26-foot-long, 168-year-old lizard king is preserved under the tarmac in Patagonia. In response, palaeontologists who discovered the giant monster — a new cousin of the iconic alien dragon, tyrannosaur and tyrannosaur — named it the new genus Asfaltovenator vialidadi.
Paleontologists Oliver Rauhust and Diego Pol published the findings Wednesday in Scientific Reports. According to it, the dinosaur remains are the most complete dinosaur skeleton ever found in the early Middle Jurassic.
“This fossil shows an unusual combination of bone features, which is difficult to match the relationship between the three groups that are now accepted to make up the rigid-tailed dragons — the dragons, the tyrannosaurs, and the impopods,” Rauhut said in a statement. “
Asfaltovenator’s mixed features prompted scientists to study more deeply other dinosaurs, whose species expanded rapidly during the Middle Jurassic period. In response, Rauhut said he believes the explosive evolution of the newly discovered dinosaur population was linked to a mass extinction that occurred 180 million years ago.