An international team of researchers have unearthed two leg bone fossils of the new species in the Andes Mountains near Venezuela’s western border, LiveScience reports.
The fossils indicate the first carnivorous dinosaur discovered in the country was about 4.9 to 6.5 feet long from nose to tail. The creature lived about 201 million years ago, during the early Jurassic period, on the ancient supercontinent Pangaea.
They’re calling the new dinosaur the “Thief of Tachira,” but this feisty little dinosaur doesn’t sound like the sort that would have stolen many hearts. In fact, Tachiraptor admirabilis doesn’t seem very friendly at all.
The researchers said Tachiraptor was likely an ancestor of bigger dinosaurs like T. rex that lived in the later Jurassic. Their discovery may shed new light on the evolution of dinosaurs following the End-Triassic mass extinction that occurred a million years before Tachiraptor lived.
The paper describing the discovery was published Oct. 8 in the journal Royal Society Open Science.