Western Digs’ Top 5 Paleontology Stories of 2013

#3. ‘Colossal’ New Species of Predatory Dinosaur Dwarfed Tyrannosaurs, Scientists Say

Don’t pity Tyrannosaurus rex. It still retains the mantle as the largest predatory dinosaur ever found on the continent.

Siats meekerorum
An artist’s rendering depicts Siats meekerorum, (pronounced see-atch), which lived 98 million years ago in what’s now southeastern Utah. (Jorge Gonzales)

But a giant theropod recently identified in a Utah fossil, the subject of our third most popular story, eclipsed all of its tyrannosaur contemporaries in size.

Thankfully for rex’s reputation, it lived millions of years before T. rex came along.

Instead, Siats meekerorum loomed over the tyrannosaurs of its time, which as a group were smaller back then.

Nonetheless, the newly discovered Siats was certainly the apex predator of its day, and perhaps more important, its discovery helps clarify how and when the likes of Siats lived — and then went extinct — clearing the way for tyrannosaurs to rule the land.

Read all about this newly found predatory dinosaur, and let us know what you think.

See #2: The Oldest DNA Ever Decoded: What Was It From? >>

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