Science Is Awesome, Names New Dinosaur After Sauron

Meet the 95 million year old Sauroniops. Based on a skull fragment found in Morocco, a new predator is taking shape.

Even with only a single bone fragment, paleontologists are confident Sauroniops is a new species. Researchers notice the frontal bone, situated at the top of the skull above the dinosaur’s eyes, seemed similar to the one found on Carcharodontosaurus (a really, really big Allosaurus cousin).

However, they’d never before seen the strange domed protrusion in the middle of the specimen.

Even with such limited data, paleontologists estimate the predator was over 30 feet in length. Read the whole analysis on the Smithsonian’s blog.

In this artist rendition, a Sauroniops pachytholus makes a meal out of a juvenile Spinosaurus.

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